Full text of Abhinav Seetharaman’s talk: The Beauty That Is Sanskrit atTEDxYouth@BrowningSchool conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Abhinav Seetharaman – Musician and a Language Entrepreneur
So I’d like to begin by asking you all a question. How many of you have heard of Sanskrit in the first place?
Okay. So that’s pretty impressive. Most of you raised your hands.
I once tried to interview a friend of mine in high school for a project, and asked him what his thoughts were on Sanskrit.
His response, “Oh, you mean sand-script. Is that a language that’s written on the sand?”
I decided it wasn’t worth continuing to interview after that.
So now I’d like for you all to visualize the following situation, as it unfolds before you.
Allow the power of narrative to enter your minds and create compelling scenes with imagery and detail. Let your imagination take over.
We’re now in the great Silk Road, the ancient hub for trade networks and cross-cultural interactions. Specifically, we’re in the Southwestern route of the Silk Road, very close to modern day India.
Markets are popping up throughout the region, offering a wide variety of goods, ranging from gold to spices, such as cinnamon, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Merchants and travelers flock from the West to not only conduct trade with the Indians, but to also learn an enchanting new language. A language that is so grammatically perfect, a language so rich in color and culture, a language called Sanskrit.
Now, as these merchants and travelers, here’s Sanskrit being spoken between the Indians. They notice many similarities to their native languages of Latin and ancient Greek.