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india on the move

Changing India

This week we continued our sequence about India..

  • On Monday we summed up the information we gathered from the webquest on India before our test We said that India is a republic, it is the second most populated country after China (more than one million inhabitants). The capital is New Delhi and Mumbai is the largest city and center of India's film and entertainment industry (the largest in the world!). There are also 15 regional languages but about 1500 dialects and languages spoken in India ! Thus Indian states are organized along linguistic lines and there are 28 states. We also said that English is the language used for diplomacy and that 14% of the population is Muslim and 80% Hindu. Finally we noticed that urban India is one of the most heavily industrialized areas in the world.

  • On Thursday, we separated the class into two groups : the first half with Theresa and the other half with our English teacher. With her, we carried on practising our speaking for our oral exam; wechose three documents about Australia and made a brief presentation.

  • On Friday, we started a new document, a text entitled "Changing India" which is an extract from an article by Anand Gorodharadas, an Indian who was born and grew up in the USA but decided to go back to India after his studies. He explains that when coming back to India he was surprised by the country because it was more modern than his parents had told him.

  • For monday we have to find the various changes towards modernity he mentions in his article and try to highlight the phrases he uses to speak about them and we have a a webquest to do for next Thursday on the change from Bombay to Mumbai.

... and a video to watch to help you understand what the author mentions in his article.

Here is the webquest on Mumbai you have to do for Thursday.

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Introduction to India

Last week, we continued to study India with 4 different texts. We were separated into 4 groups and had to introduce each document.

The first one was about Hinduism. We learnt that it is the oldest religion in the world. However, Hinduism is different from the others beliefs. It is a kind of "family of religions", with many philosophies. And there is no single founder of Hinduism. Hindus believe in a cyclical life and reincarnation. It depends on your "karma"; the different actions that you accomplish in your human life.

The second text was about Indian colonization. It began in 1600 with the arrival of the British East India Compagny, which was a trading compagny. They exploited resources of India, like cotton, silk, tea or spices. In 1857, native members of the British army revolted because the rifle catridges had been greased with pig and cow fat and it was unacceptable to them as they HIndus and Muslims. A brutal conflit erupted then between Muslims and Hindus and the British. In 1877 Queen Victoria became Empress of India.

The third document was about the independence of India. We learnt that a group of people, led by Gandhi, started a non-violent anti-British campaign. It created a division between Hindus, who were a majority, and Muslims, who were a minority. In 1947 the British left the country and India became independent but there was a lot of violence between Hindus and Muslims. Half a million people died.. This movement resulted in the creation of Pakistan and Bengladesh.

The last document was about modern India and its democracy. The government is modeled on the british Parliament : the president is elected for 5 years by Parliament members, and he chooses the Prime minister. India raised the political level by electing the 1st woman Prime minister, Indira Gandhi, in 1964 and then the first woman President, Pratibha Patil, in 2007.

Then on Thursday, we were separated into 2 groups, one whith our English teacher, and the other with Theresa, an american student. The groupe with Theresa studied an article written by Alexandra Petri in The Whashington Post. It was entitled "Is poetry dead ?". During an hour, we read the article and tried to find arguments for and against this idea. We have to find others arguments at home now, because we will have a debate just before our holidays.

Finally, on Friday, we went on the computers to make a quizz on the internet aboutIndia. We had half an hour to find information and try to answer 30 questions. For Monday, we have to learn the information we talked about in class about India because we will have a test.

Here are your friends' presentations' notes.

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India on the move

This week we debated on which document was the most interesting document in the sequence on Australia and how this document related to the question of "spaces and exchanges".

We also started the new sequence "India on the move" by analyzing a picture took on an Indian beach. This beach is over-crowded with people frome both genders and from all ages. Women are wearing saris, that is traditional Indian clothes, and in the background we can see buildings and skyscrapers which may be part of a business district. The photograph depicts the contrast between tradition and modernity in India.

Here is the photograph we talked about.

Here is the photograph we talked about.

Here is the result of our brainstorming on India.

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