eliot & drew bike through india for 3 months, trying to inconspicuously do some good in the world.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

jana gana mo-mana, fee-fi-fo-fana, maaaa-naaa!

this is the indian national anthem, which is called Jana Gana Mana. while most westerners will stifle a laugh (hey, i had to) it's a totally important song - duh.

here is a more-or-less official estimation of the song into english:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.


alright, now get this: you know how india has 820 million hindus who all have different gods, 12 million muslims and a whole slew of christians, jains, sikhs, jews and other religions? The "Thou" and "thee" referenced up above? NOBODY CAN AGREE WHO IT'S REFERENCING. pretty cool right?

India is alot like America - tolerant, opression-fightin', religious-freedom lovin' former british colonist that we are.   Just like how our national anthem doesn't mention any particular god (or even the word "god" - unless you get to the fourth verse that no one sings, anyway), no one seems to know who this guy (or gal) is who is the "ruler of the minds of all people."  it's an open ended question that everyone can participate in.

kind-of an amazing metaphor for the whole country.

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