India has a population of 1.2 billion people (just slightly behind the PRC) and with that comes some 400+ languages and multiple language families in one country. Obviously I’m not going to show every single language found in India. I’m going to focus on the 22 languages as defined in the Eight Schedule to the Indian constitution, so you can get a teeny-tiny sample of some of the languages of the second most populous nation on earth and how they sound.
All videos are from youtube. They should all play fine in the US, cannot guarantee that for anywhere else. However for pretty much all of these (except a few on the bottom) there are like a bajillion things like just type the language name into youtube and you’ll get like a good 50 movies showing up.
Borrowing of English words is very common in India so don’t be surprised if you’re listening to one and suddenly you there’s English for like two words and then back to whatever language it is.
Also there is a chance that some of the videos may not actually contain the language they’re supposed to contain. I do not speak any of these languages and I had to go off of what labels the video had as well as basic google searches if I could. If there is a mistake, I apologize. And if you catch a mistake let me know so I can get it fixed.
❝ The youngest of seven daughters-in-law in a prosperous household who was a glutton that used to secretly steal food and then blame a black cat, which was thrashed as punishment. The black cat happened to be the vahana (mount) of Shashthi and complained about the mistreatment to the goddess, who pledged to avenge it. When the youngest daughter-in-law gave birth to a son, the cat stole the child in the night and gave it to the goddess, and did the same for her next six sons. The neighbors accused the young mother of carelessness and began to believe she might be a witch who ate her own children. Finally, when a daughter was born, the young mother decided to remain awake the whole night to resolve the mystery. She managed to catch the cat in the act of robbery and wounded it with her bracelet, but the cat escaped with the child, leaving a trail of blood. The mother followed this trail to the abode of Shashthi. There she saw her sons playing around Shashthi as the goddess held the mother’s infant daughter in her arms. Shashthi explained the reason for the mother’s ordeal and told her to ask pardon of the cat. The mother asked the cat’s pardon, which was granted, and then she promised the goddess that she would offer worship in a ritual dedicated to her, which would come to be known as the Jamai-Shasthi Vrata. The mother returned home with her children and spread the worship of the goddess, who blessed her family with children, wealth and happiness.
Rapper and musician Anik Khan was born in Dhaka and grew up in Queens, New York. He raps about being Muslim, an immigrant, and his father, who was a freedom fighter in Bangladesh before they moved to the US. Last month his single “Too Late Now” reached the top of the stack of Spotify’s Top Viral Hits.
In browntown’s first episode, Anik talks about the neighborhood he grew up in, his favorite Bollywood actress Kajol, and his music.
browntown is a video series project from Kajal Media that aims to collect stories from the global South Asian diaspora