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January 10: World Hindi Day

The World Hindi Day is observed annually on 10 January. On this occasion, Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has conducted special events to spread the greatness of the language through its missions abroad.  Besides, the Department of Official Language (Rajbhasha) also organises several events to mark this day. 

Background
  • The World Hindi Day was first observed on 10 January 2006. It is in addition to present National Hindi Divas which is being observed annually on 14 September.
  • It should be noted that World Hindi Day is the promotion of the language at the global stage. Whereas, National Hindi Divas is being observed across the country at national level.
  • The National Hindi Divas is observed to mark adaptation of Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union by the Constituent Assembly on 14 September 1949. 

About Hindi

Hindi is the fourth most spoken language of the world. It is mother tongue of around 258 million people across the world. The provision of Hindi as official Language of the Union has been mentioned in Article 120, Article 210 and Article 343, 344 and from 348 to 351. The Pacific island country, Fiji also has adopted Hindi as an official language.

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6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set new Guinness World Record

As many as 6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set a new Guinness World Record by performing together in a single event in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh.

The Guinness World Record adjudicated for the 12-minute “Jayamu Jayamu” item as the ‘Largest Kuchipudi dance’ performance.

Key Facts
  • Kuchipudi dancers from various age groups (as young as 5 to more than 60 years) from across the world, including from US, UAE, UK, Russia, Hong Kong and Mauritius took part in performance.
  • The record event was organised by SiliconAndhra, a cultural non-profit organisation in association with the Andhra Pradesh Government at IGMC Stadium.
  • ‘Jayamu Jayamu’ was choreographed by the legendary Vempati China Satyam and it was chosen for the record attempt ‘Mahabrinda Natyam’.
  • The ‘Mahabrinda Natyam’ was part of the 5th International Kuchipudi Dance Convention hosted by the Andhra Pradesh Government’s Department of Language and Culture.

About Kuchipudi dance

  • Kuchipudi is one of the ten major Indian classical dances. It originated in a village of Krishna district in modern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It derives its name from this village.
  • It is a dance-drama performance art, with its roots in the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra.
  • Like all major classical dances of India, it was also developed as a religious art linked to traveling bards, temples and spiritual beliefs.
  • The Kuchipudi style was conceived by Siddhendra Yogi, a talented Vaishnava poet of 17th century.
  • It begins with an invocation to Lord Ganesha followed by nritta (non-narrative and abstract dancing); shabdam (narrative dancing) and natya.
  • The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by musical instruments like mridangam, violin, flute and tambura.
  • Like other classical dances, Kuchipudi also comprises pure dance, mime and histrionics but it is the use of speech that distinguishes Kuchipudi’s presentation as dance drama.

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Urban planning kept peace in Harappa: Experts

According to Indus Valley Civilisation expert Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Harappa was peaceful in comparison with all other first civilisations cities because of its urban planning.

The efficient water supply, proper sewage treatment and good drainage systems in Harappa were main reason for conflict avoidance.

Experts believe that this strategy is an important lesson to be learnt from the Harappans. Thus, it suggests that Harappan concept of cleanliness and wells and drains is not so much about hygiene but also conflict avoidance.

About Harappa
  • Harappa was an Indus Valley civilization’s urban centre. It lies on an old bank/bed of the River Ravi in Punjab Province of Pakistan.
  • It was the first site of the civilization to be excavated in 1921 led by team led by Daya Ram Sahni. The civilization had diversified social and economic system.
  • Its main feature was town planning were it had well grid locked pattern planned straight roads and a system of drainage. It also significant as there was use of baked as well as sundried bricks.
  • It had a fortified citadel. Houses with kitchens and wells, tanks or water reservoirs were also found. Presence of wheel made pottery and practice of burying the dead is also seen.

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