William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616): “Neither here nor there”, “with bated breath”, “vanish into thin air”… Words we use today, but they were written by one very talented writer nearly 500 years ago. The English language as we know it today owes a lot to William Shakespeare.
In 1066 AD the Normans (people who came from Normandy in Europe) conquered England and introduced feudalism in England. Feudalism was a system of contract where society was divided into four classes: royalty, barons (noblemen) and bishops, knights (a title or a rank) and lastly peasants.
October 21: Are you studying in primary school? How does your teacher make you sit – in rows or in groups? How would you like to sit? Does sitting in rows make you feel good or does it make you feel lonely?
Did you know that the celebrations at Christmas might have nothing to do with the birth of Christ? In fact they may well lie in a feast called Sacaea that was celebrated thousands of years before Christ’s birth.
The poet Carl Sandburg wrote, “The fog comes in on little cat feet.” So do a large number of our words and expressions. Let’s think of the cats that run and leap and pounce and slink and purr and meow through the English language.
September 12, 2007 : I must confess that I got interested in the Indian women’s hockey team after watching the film Chak De! India . But unlike many friends who kept talking about the bright actors in the film thinking they were actually discussing the game of hockey, I did some reading up on the hockey team.
The year was 2002. The Commonwealth Games were on in Manchester, England. A nail-biting hockey final was being played out between the women’s hockey teams of favourites England and underdog India. England had defeated the reigning world and Olympic champions Australia to reach the final.
October 6: England’s world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company has made a break with tradition. It has cast a black Nigerian actor, David Oyelowo, in the lead role of Henry VI, whose insanity unleashed a 30-year bloody civil war between two ruling parties, called the War of the Roses.
July 31: Somya Ahuja does not like the way people treat their environment. So she wrote an essay about it. And that essay led to her becoming India’s Eco-ambassador at a children’s conference in England recently.
Where: London, UK
April 15, 2007: In the UK alone, more than 1.05 million Indians contribute to making the country culturally colourful. Now, there’s more proof that Indians are the largest minority ethnic group in England.
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