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Sunday, November 30, 2014
Mathur: The Village That Speaks Sanskrit
For the last 600 years, the Sankethis, a community of Brahmins that migrated from Kerala, have been living together and leading an insular way of life. Daily life revolves around Sanskrit. Aham Gacchami (I am going) and other expressions in the ancient language can be heard on the street. Since the language is spoken by people wearing jeans and t-shirts or while talking over a cell phone or riding a motorbike, Mattur has become a quaint metaphor for ancient India in modern times.
Most residents of the village are happy that the Narendra Modi government plans to replace German with Sanskrit in CBSE schools. "Of course, children in India must necessarily study Sanskrit. The Vedas can help children lead fuller lives as they teach about how to lead a better family life, to understand the metaphysical aspect of life and so on," says Madhukar, who resigned from his job at Cisco as a software engineer and returned to the village to set up a garments business.
Almost every house in this Brahmin village has an IT professional and many of them are working abroad. The Sankethis are proud of their culture and almost every NRI makes it a point to attend rituals and festivals back home.
[From: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-11-23/news/56385155_1_sanskrit-village-mattur - the author makes some stupid questions about why a sanskrit village should have mobile phones etc.. Shows how shallow people think and I have left out those parts from this excerpt.. ]
The crime rate is extremely low, given that the village by itself is one extended family. "There is not a single property dispute pending before courts from this village. We have a culture of cohesion that has been around for generations and we have managed to keep it going," says Yadu, who, like Madhukar, goes by one name and is a software professional.
The Mattur school has one of the best records in the district and boasts of toppers year after year. The teachers at the school say that learning Vedas and the chanting have helped children with their memory and focus. The software engineers here say their training in chanting has helped them with their academics.
Yadu, who works with Hewlett Packard, says that the daily practice of chanting was the reason for the village boasting of hundreds of software engineers. "We naturally developed an aptitude for maths and logic as well," he said.