CNN Anchor Mocks Indian-American Spelling Bee Champ And Thinks Sanskrit Is Still Widely Spoken In India

When 12-year-old Ananya Vinay won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the US, she made Indians around the world very proud.

Ananya and another Indian-American Rohan Rajeev faced each other in the final round last week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre in Maryland. Ananya won on the word “marocain”, a fabric.

Naturally, television channels started interviewing her. But when international news channel CNN decided to interview the 12-year-old, you didn’t have to think twice before knowing that this reeks of racism.

“…It is a nonsense word but we’re not sure that its root is in Sanskrit which is probably what you’re used to…”

‘Covfefe’ is a nonsense word but we’re not sure that its root is in Sanskrit — which is probably what you’re used to.Alisyn Camerota

Erm…what?

There are so many things wrong with the statement above that we’ll need a minute to organise our thoughts.

(read the rest on huffingtonpost)


 

Update: US lawmakers flay CNN anchor over remarks on Indian-American spelling bee champion

Two US lawmakers have criticised a CNN anchor for allegedly “otherising” Indian-American national spelling champion+ Ananya Vinay by assuming that the 12-year-old is “used to using” Sanskrit due to her heritage, saying the US needs to get educated about Hinduism and India.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Hindu Congressman Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at the anchors for playing into stereotypes. “It’s disappointing that a segment which should have honoured the accomplishments of Vinay instead other-ised her and the Indian-American community by playing into stereotypes,” Indian-American Congressman from Illinois Krishnamoorthi said.

This is “Further evidence of the need for America in general, and CNN in particular, to get educated about Hinduism & India,” said Tulsi Gabbard, the Hindu Congresswoman from Hawaii.

CNN should be embarrassed: Anchor assumes American spelling bee champ must be “used to using” Sanskrit. Do Italian-Americans use Latin?” wrote eminent journalist Indira Lakshmanan.
The sixth-grader had correctly spelled the word ‘marocain’ and became the 13th consecutive winner from the Indian-American community at the annual spelling bee championship.

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Summer camps for kids in India: Keeping young minds engaged

Kids around the world eagerly look forward to Summer Vacations. However, after a few weeks of fun-and-frolic, the dog days of summer begin to feel like they are stretching on. Parents look for avenues to keep their kids engaged and learning, giving rise to the cottage industry of Summer Camps.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a Summer Camp as “a camp providing recreational and athletic facilities for children during the summer vacation period.”

Summer Camps in Urban India

Summer camps in Bangalore and other cities in urban India have taken off in a big way. Little Vijay, our 7-year-old, finished his ‘final exams’ at a School in Bangalore by mid-March and my wife and I were wondering how to keep him busy and engaged during April and May.

Suja, my wife saw banners advertising a creative summer camp at Rangabharana Kala Kendra, an art and cultural center in Sanjay Nagar neighborhood, about a kilometer from where we live. She called up the folks at Rangabharana and inquired about the month-long program that would include arts and crafts including “Acting, Art, Dance, Film, Music, Performing Arts, handicrafts, paper craft etc.” The fee for the program at Rupees 3,500 sounded reasonable and our expectations of the program were tempered, and we didn’t expect much other than keeping our frisky youngster busy and engaged.

Summer Camp at Rangabharana Kalakendra 2017

After his exam, we went on a weeklong trip to visit my in-laws in Delhi and by the end of March, Vijay was ready for his first Indian-summer-camp experience.  He agreed to attend the summer camp with a bit of trepidation since none of his friends from school or neighborhood would be there.

After Day-1 at the camp when Vijay came back excited to tell us about the events of the day, Suja and I  realized sending him to Rangabharana was a wise move. As the month wore on, he continued to share his creative activities, crafts with a twinkle in his eye.

Kids performing in Cultural function at on the last day of “Summer Camp”

A few Arts and Crafts made by Vijay during the month

Rangabharana Art

Rangabharana Kalakendra is situated at Sanjay Nagar, Bangalore. Classes in dance are provided by this institute. The minimum age to get admission to Rangabharana Kalakendra is 5. One of the most prominent facilities available at this institute is the availability of individual classes.

Address: CA-5, 1st Main Road, 3rd Cross, KEB Layout, R.M.V. Extension 2nd Stage Bangalore