Do you ever wonder how people in countries outside of Europe live their lives, what they dream about, if they are interested in the same things as you are? If you met a young person from India, what would you want to ask him or her?
This is an informal interview with a young Indian woman named Bahrti. Listen to the interview and then answer the questions. To get the most out of it, you should listen at least twice. The first time, listen to the whole interview without stopping, just to get an idea of what she is talking about, as well as getting a feel of her Indian-style English.
Tasks and Activities
- How old is Bahrti?
- Where in India does she live? a) Ludhiana, Punjab; b) Pune, Maharashtra; or c) Jaipur, Rajasthan?
- How does she answer the question about growing up in India?
- What would you have answered to the question about what you liked to do as a child?
- What do you learn about Indian schools? List at least three facts.
- Is dating common in the teenage years?
- What has changed in the last ten years?
- Bahrti thinks there is hope for the future of the poor people in India, as long as they have “quality”. Explain what you think she means by someone having “quality”.
There are many, many Hindu festivals, but Diwali is one of the most important. Which of the following does Bahrti mention about the celebration:
- it is a festival of lights;
- sweets are made, and shared with neighbours and friends;
- it is like Christmas;
- people throw brightly coloured powders on each other
- What two things does Bahrti see herself working with in ten years?
- What is a bindhi, and who wears it?
- What does Bahrti say about social life in India? How does it differ from social life in the West?
Bahrti speaks with an Indian accent, typical of the English spoken in India.
- How easy or difficult was it to follow what she was saying?
- Can you pick out any words in the interview which sound different from regular British or American pronunciation?
How Good Are You at Accents?
- Choose any short English text, and try reading it aloud with an Indian accent.
In the following sentences, everyday English words are written as an Indian might say them. Read them out loud. Can you guess what they mean?
- I always need some soogar in my kapi.
- The ship sank to the bardam of the ocean.
- It was a very good flim.
- The carpet is made of wool and silik.
- His sister’s new husband is not Indian, he is a firangi.
- Do you have a pain I could borrow? I need to write something down.