What are the first things that come to mind when you think of India? Make a list, and share it with the class.
India holds many records. With almost 1.3 billion people, it comes second after China in population. It is the largest democracy in the world. Furthermore it is the largest country by area in South Asia and the seventh largest in the world. New Delhi is the capital city, but Mumbai is the largest city. Hindi is the official language and English is a second official language. English has great importance there as a lingua franca (common language).
Commercial and Cultural Wealth
India has had commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history, because many old trade routes have passed through the country and because it has been part of huge empires. The last imperial power to rule India was Britain. By 1856, most of India was under the control of the British East India Company, which traded in goods such as cotton, silk, tea and opium.
- wealth = rikdom
- commercial = handelsvirksomhet/handelsverksemd
- empire = keiserdømme/keisardøme
- goods = varer
India became an independent nation in 1947, after many widespread, non-violent protests lead by Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was soon after assassinated by a religious fanatic. Due to religious tension in the country, it was decided to create two Muslim countries - Pakistan in the West and Bangladesh in the East. The main religion in India is Hinduism. There are still border disputes and a generally strained relationship between Pakistan and India.
- widespread = vidstrakt
- independence = uavhengighet/sjølvstende
- non-violent = ikke voldelig/ikkje valdeleg
- assassinated = snikmyrdet/snikmyrda
- tension = spenning
- dispute = konflikt
Though India’s middle class is quickly growing there are, however, still hundreds of millions of people living in poverty.
India has had a technological and industrial boom in the last few decades. It has a huge high-tech economy and a good educational system. Indian workers are also sought after in Western countries for both their expertise and their reputation for being hard workers.
- poverty = fattigdom
- sought after = etterspurt
- repuation = omdømme
Other Tasks and Activities
Write five questions to the text above. Afterwards, sit in pairs and take turns asking and answering.
Gather information about Mahatma Gandhi from several sources on the Internet. Put the information together into a short text about Gandhi where you also discuss what you think of him.
- when and where he was born and died
- his philosophy
- what he was fighting for
- India is a huge country with contrasting poverty and wealth. You can see a Mercedes alongside a mule in the streets and beggars alongside rich, well-educated people. Choose a picture on Pictures of India and discuss it with a partner.
- Find some facts about Pakistan - area, population, languages, capital city, government, economy, etc.
- Go to this link India - Pakistan conflicts (Wikipedia) to find out which area India and Pakistan are fighting over and how long this conflict has been going on?