In Southern Asia; upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north; 3,287,590 km2 (= 1/3 U.S.), 49% arable.

Capital New Delhi (pop. 10M)
Population 1.1 B (349/km2)
Life expectancy 69 years
Literacy 61%
Lang(s) Hindi (national language, spoken by 41%); other 14 official languages – Bengali, Telegu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit; English (official, most important language for national, political and commercial communication); Hindustani is spoken widely in the north
Religions Hindu (81%), Muslim (13%), Christian (2%), Sikh (2%); other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi (1.8%)
Ethnic Groups Indo-Aryan (72%), Dravidian (25%), Mongoloid and other (3%)
Gov’t Federal republic
GDP/cap $2,900
PCVs 1961-1976, agriculture, food production, nutrition, family planning, health, childcare programs, English language, science education (4,325 volunteers served)
Nat’l holiday Republic Day, 26 January (1950)

Focus word for 2010 - “Justice”

Hindi: nyai (nya-eye)


India: In Word and Image
by Eric Meola
Book Description
Rose-ringed parakeets nesting in trees or henna on a woman's hands, his photographs are an affectionate tribute to the subcontinent's diversity and history.
A photographer’s affectionate tribute to the subcontinent's diversity and history.

Kids' Books

Keeping Corner
by Sheth, Kashmira
Kashmira Sheth.
Cataloging in Publication
New York, N.Y. : Hyperion, 2007.

CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices 2008)
In a spellbinding story, one girl’s struggle to determine her own future plays out against the backdrop of India’s fight for independence as a nation. Twelve-year-old Leela is widowed before she even has a chance to move in with her husband and his family. Now, the tradition of her caste dictates she will spend a year “keeping corner.” Head shaved, she is not allowed to leave home. For the rest of her life, she will be a widow. Leela’s older brother is outraged: Leela’s future should not be sacrificed to tradition. India is changing, he tells his parents. Under the leadership of Ghandi, people are finding the strength and inspiration to stand together and defy the status quo in the name of justice. Leela is her parent’s beloved youngest child. They are devastated by what has happened, but they also believe that following tradition is a way to protect both Leela and their family. But they do agree to let Saviben, the principal of Leela’s school, come into their home and give Leela lessons. Saviben encourages Leela to read the paper, to think about what is happening in India and the larger world. Leela begins to understand she can be part of something bigger—part of the intoxicating changes happening in her country—but it’s all dependent on convincing her parents to let go of their fears. Kashmira Sheth’s storytelling is steeped in evocative descriptions of place and time, and peopled with vivid, complex characters in a rich, multilayered novel. Ages 12-16.
© Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Reprinted with permission.


Rough Guide to the Music of India
Various Artists
World Music Network


Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Ashutosh Gowariker)


Sarson Ka Sag/Spinach Dish
Idiyappam/Coconut Breakfast