Saturday, February 24, 2007

Galli Galli Sim Sim

Can you tell me how to get....
New Delhi

This morning I was flipping channels during breakfast (milk tea and cornflakes, served with hot milk that turns them to mush - which, for some reason, is the Indian way) and came across the Indian Sesame Street.

It's called Galli Galli Sim Sim - a galli is a small street, like an alley. Everything was virtually the same, but all in Hindi, and of course with Indian kids. I was impressed that Bert and Ernie - not sure what the Hindi names were- retained their trademark vocal characters (nasal, nerdy) even in Hindi language.

Too bad they didn't translate the wonderful theme song into Hindi too, but I found the show quite useful for picking up language bits. They have the same "commercials" for letters of the alphabet and numbers that I found so delightful as a kid.

They also had segments introducing other languages of India to the mainstream Hindi-speaking kids, such as a Kerala girl teaching her friend to count in Malayalam ("onnu, rindu, munna..."). This stuff really works. I can still recite the Spanish counting rhymes we learned so many decades ago on Sesame Street.

"uno-dos-tres-quatro-cinquo-sis-siete-ocho-NUEVE, DIAS!"

I read the news today, oh boy
The biggest news for me today was a story (buried in the separate City section)
of Indian Express.

A judge here in Delhi has decided in favour of a young (17 years old) girl who eloped, saying since her father had threatened her life if she married her intended, of her own choice, the girl had a right to elope. He could not force her to return home, nor force her to marry against her will. I've looked for the net news link, but can't find it.

This is remarkable because typically young women are considered the property of their fathers. Parents usually receive police assistance in forcing such women who elope or marry against the parents' wishes to return home, where they will often face abuse, reprisals, or at least, a marriage against their will. The girl is assumed to be a victim, the boy assumed to be her abductor, and he is usually charged with kidnapping.

The girl was from a Muslim family, and her intended was Hindu. She has changed her name to from a Muslim one, Afsana, to the Hindu "Anjali." This court upheld the young woman's right to determine her own fate, saying "the right to life and liberty apply as well to minors when they have been threatened."


Iain said...

I'm also perplexed by warm milk, the dutifully strained lumpy bits, and the thick, slimy skin on the surface.

Nice blog! I like the news/issues focus. I'm also in India, and also have a travel blog, called Old World Wandering. Though you wouldn't know I'm in India, I'm a few post behind. Oh, and I'm also heading to McLeod Ganj.

Madhukar said...

Hi, I'm still an irregular visitor here. But it feel really nice to look our country through your eyes.

Gali Gali Sim Sim is quite a hit amongst kids.


Nick said...

The minimum age for marriage for a girl is 18.

The boy would have been guilty of having sex with a minor.

The judge said that as her 18th birthday was very close it wouldn't make any sense to take her out of the marriage for this reason.


Ashini said...

Hey, I've heard about Sesame Street's international incarnates, but didn't know about Gali Gali Sim Sim. The words Sim Sim are interesting.. in the Indian rendition of 'Ali Baba & the 40 Thieves', rather than "Open Sesame", they'd say "Kulja Sim Sim". So, there ya go.

Btw, I love your photography on the site. It's wonderful how you're able to capture the spirit of the people.