Two students from Columbia University have taken initiative to spread spoken Sanskrit through Youtube. Their first video begins with the greeting ‘Namo Namaha’.
Sanskrit is the mother of many of Indian languages and has nourished Indian culture and traditions from time immemorial. Much of Indian philosophy, religion, arts, and science are all expressed in Sanskrit.
Yet, today Sanskrit is facing a battle for survival. On one hand, there are attempts to hijack the discourse on Sanskrit and Sanskriti (culture) by American orientalists, as highlighted by Rajiv Malhotra in his latest book ‘Battle for Sanskrit’ and on the other hand, except for ritualistic and religious purpose, Sanskrit is hardly being used for daily communications.
Now, a Chinese student- Yang Qu- and an Indian student- Abhinav Seetharaman- from Columbia University have started a ‘Spoken Sanskrit Series’ in order to introduce ‘seemingly intimidating language in a very approachable and accessible way’ to beginners.
They describe the online course modeled on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as their contribution to the ‘Sanskrit Revival Movement’. They have plans to make a series of conversational videos each of five minutes duration