US City Teams with Jaipur, India, to Celebrate Literature

2019-10-31

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1
  • India's artistic and intellectual elite gathered in the U.S. city of Boulder, Colorado last month to celebrate some of the literary world's most gifted writers.
  • 2
  • The Jaipur Literature Festival was launched in Jaipur, India in 2006.
  • 3
  • It now has nearly 300 speakers and about 500,000 people attending the events every year.
  • 4
  • The festival also travels around the world.
  • 5
  • Its first stop in the United States was Boulder, a city known for its technology industry.
  • 6
  • Festival co-director Namita Gokhale told VOA she loves Boulder's highly-educated community.
  • 7
  • But her favorite part of Boulder is its natural environment.
  • 8
  • "Something about this place reminds me of my hometown in the Himalayas," she says.
  • 9
  • Wherever the festival goes, Gokhale said, it seeks to create a deep feeling of happiness through life experiences.
  • 10
  • Happiness, she added, "means extracting a deeper understanding from possibly even the most tragic situations."
  • 11
  • In her book, "Good Talk," Mira Jacob writes about race and gender struggle in her large family.
  • 12
  • Speaking at the festival, Jacob told her painful story.
  • 13
  • But she also created a sense of happiness that made her listeners laugh.
  • 14
  • Jacob explained that her Indian-born mother tells her friends, "Mira has her stories, and I know the truth."
  • 15
  • Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian-born medical doctor.
  • 16
  • His book, "I Shall Not Hate," tells the story of the Israeli bombing of his home 10 years ago. The attack killed his three daughters.
  • 17
  • "But I can keep them alive in my heart... It's with wisdom, with kind, courageous, strong words and with good (acts)," Abuelaish told listeners.
  • 18
  • Ethiopian-born writer Maaza Mengiste was another speaker.
  • 19
  • "The Shadow King" tells of the 1935 Italian invasion of Ethiopia and a tragedy that followed.
  • 20
  • Mengiste said her story is not just a story about Ethiopia: it's about "every woman and every girl who's had to survive some kind of conflict, whether it's in war or in the home."
  • 21
  • "Silence in some ways protects us," she added. "Until we hear someone else's story, and understand that we're not alone."
  • 22
  • Mengiste is a Fulbright scholar who uses non-traditional ways to discover stories from the past.
  • 23
  • She goes on the social networking service Twitter and asks users to send pictures of women during wartime.
  • 24
  • With stories like these, the Jaipur Literature Festival asks those who love literature to seek a deeper understanding of the human experience.
  • 25
  • I'm Susan Shand.
  • 1
  • India's artistic and intellectual elite gathered in the U.S. city of Boulder, Colorado last month to celebrate some of the literary world's most gifted writers.
  • 2
  • The Jaipur Literature Festival was launched in Jaipur, India in 2006. It now has nearly 300 speakers and about 500,000 people attending the events every year.
  • 3
  • The festival also travels around the world. Its first stop in the United States was Boulder, a city known for its technology industry.
  • 4
  • Festival co-director Namita Gokhale told VOA she loves Boulder's highly-educated community. But her favorite part of Boulder is its natural environment.
  • 5
  • "Something about this place reminds me of my hometown in the Himalayas," she says.
  • 6
  • Wherever the festival goes, Gokhale said, it seeks to create a deep feeling of happiness through life experiences.
  • 7
  • Happiness, she added, "means extracting a deeper understanding from possibly even the most tragic situations."
  • 8
  • Lighthearted moments
  • 9
  • In her book, "Good Talk," Mira Jacob writes about race and gender struggle in her large family. Speaking at the festival, Jacob told her painful story. But she also created a sense of happiness that made her listeners laugh.
  • 10
  • Jacob explained that her Indian-born mother tells her friends, "Mira has her stories, and I know the truth."
  • 11
  • Tragedy and triumph
  • 12
  • Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian-born medical doctor. His book, "I Shall Not Hate," tells the story of the Israeli bombing of his home 10 years ago. The attack killed his three daughters.
  • 13
  • "But I can keep them alive in my heart... It's with wisdom, with kind, courageous, strong words and with good (acts)," Abuelaish told listeners.
  • 14
  • Ethiopian-born writer Maaza Mengiste was another speaker. "The Shadow King" tells of the 1935 Italian invasion of Ethiopia and a tragedy that followed.
  • 15
  • Mengiste said her story is not just a story about Ethiopia: it's about "every woman and every girl who's had to survive some kind of conflict, whether it's in war or in the home."
  • 16
  • "Silence in some ways protects us," she added. "Until we hear someone else's story, and understand that we're not alone."
  • 17
  • Mengiste is a Fulbright scholar who uses non-traditional ways to discover stories from the past. She goes on the social networking service Twitter and asks users to send pictures of women during wartime.
  • 18
  • With stories like these, the Jaipur Literature Festival asks those who love literature to seek a deeper understanding of the human experience.
  • 19
  • I'm Susan Shand.
  • 20
  • VOA's Shelley Schlender reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
  • 21
  • Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.
  • 22
  • _______________________________________________________________
  • 23
  • Words in This Story
  • 24
  • elite - n. the most successful or powerful group of people
  • 25
  • remind - v. to cause to remember
  • 26
  • extract - v. to choose and take out (parts of a written work) for a separate use
  • 27
  • gender - n. the behavior, culture of emotions normally linked to one sex
  • 28
  • courageous - adj. brave
  • 29
  • novel - n. a long written story usually about imaginary events
  • 30
  • Fulbright Scholar - n. a program that brings international students to America to study, teach or do research and sends American students overseas to do the same