Books are a great cultural connect!

“Let our Lives be open books for all to study.” - Mahatama Gandhi


India as Guest of Honour at the 29th Edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019 is indeed a matter of pride. The Indian Pavilion designed by NID, brings to light the evolution of our culture. The gateway-symbolising the grandeur of our culture, The Banyan tree reflecting inner wisdom & peace and our ancient scriptures showing transformation. Commemorating 150 years of MK Gandhi’s work- showcasing Gandhi as a writer, publisher and editor, events & programmes, authors, children activities, translation of 10 children book in Arabic, it is a great cultural connect & crossover.

The London Book Fair with the Publications division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting celebrated the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, with the display of The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) — a monumental document of Gandhiji’s words and work — his journey from Mohan to Mahatma. This cross cultural cooperation bridges us with the worldwide readers.

In this issue, the article Many Children, Many Languages, Many Stories by Manisha Chaudhary, highlights the 372 million children (3-14 yrs), of which 97% are enrolled in 2.4 million schools. With a focus on how important it is to promote to read for pleasure and the freedom to choose a favourite book, there is a need of more books to be published in Indian languages, which is very thought provoking. She further mentions that there is just 1 book among 20 children, which means there’s still lot of work to be done and reaching out is needed.According to a survey by National Literacy Trust (NLT) (UK), read for pleasure has declined from 43% in 2015 to 25.7% currently, distraction being the digital world. world over, the need to promote Reading for Pleasure among children.

Words weave wonders and translations open windows to a new world. I recently read about Anthea Bell, a translator who translated around 250 books, in a memoir by Ruth Martin “Remembering Anthea Bell” (New Books in German, Issue 45). Ruth has quoted Cornelia Funks … an author who Anthea translated. “Anthea Bell dressed my German tales in the most beautiful English robes. They rustled and sang and sometimes I liked them even more than the original.”

At an event by STORYTEL, there was a book reading session of a book by Namita Gokhale, which was translated to Hindi. The reciting was a moment of connection for the audience. That is the beauty and power of the written word when translated just right! They connect, entrap and mesmerize, opening a new world of imagination.

The Game of Thrones, season 8 was awaited by the International fan base. It is an excellent example of content beyond print, and as Pranav Johri has said in his article 4th Istanbul Fellowship Program: A Great Place to Trade Rights! that, “A story well told always travels.”

Here’s to more stories, more cross-cultural sharing and more READING!


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