The word Sanskrit comes from samskrtam, which means 'put together' or 'perfected'. Sanskrit Day, also known as Sanskrit Diwas, has been celebrated since 1969. It is celebrated every year on shraavana purnima, which is the full moon night of the fifth month of the Hindu calendar, shraavana. This year, the World Sanskrit Day will be celebrated on 26 August.
Sanskrit Diwas is commemorated to revive the interest of the world in Sanskrit and make everyone aware of it's historical significance. However, outside religious and academic circles, the use of Sanskrit as a medium of communication or study has seen a rapid decline over the years.
To help your children understand and connect with their rich cultural heritage and revive their interest in this ancient language, share with them these interesting facts about Sanskrit:
Rigveda, the oldest sacred text of the Hindus, is written in Sanskrit. It consists of more than 1,000 hymns or suktas, dedicated to Hindu deities.
Sanskrit has also been used in movies. Six Sanskrit movies have been released so far, with one more slated for release in 2018. The first Sanskrit movie, 'Adi Shankaracharya', was released way back in 1983 while the other five were made in the past few years. One of these six movies, Anurakthi, was shot in 3-D. The upcoming Sanskrit movie, Punyakoti, will be an animated film.
Sanskrit has many similarities with other old languages such as Ancient Greek and Classical Latin. This is because all these three belong to the family of Indo-European languages.
Even though Sanskrit is no longer used as an everyday language, in two villages of Karnataka, Mattur and Hosahalli, it is still the language of communication.
Suresh Bharadwaj and Gobind Singh Thakur, out of 11 ministers, took their oath of office in Himachal Pradesh in Sanskrit, when the rest took it in Hindi.
The first ever centre for spoken Sanskrit was launched in Ahmedabad on 10th February 2018.
Sanskrit is the mother of most Indian languages. However, languages spoken in southern India belong to the Dravidian language family. But, Sanskrit does have some influence on these languages.
In the 2011 census, 24,821 Indians said that Sanskrit was their primary language, which is less than 0.01 per cent of the entire Indian population.
Bhagvad Gita, which was translated in English in 1785, was the first book to be directly translated into any European language.
Sanskrit has been a significant part of India's rich cultural and linguistic history. It is the foundation on which many Indian languages are based and is used for all Hindu religious ceremonies, even today. Share these interesting facts about Sanskrit with your child and help her understand why learning this language is important today.
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Written by Jasmine Kaur on 9 August 2018.
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