Originally planned as a 10-month family sabbatical. Now it's a plan to visit all 5 countries, in chapters, between 2016 and 2021.
When Leanne first went to India at the end of 2003, that year's edition of the Lonely Planet India opened up with the line that it would take many lifetimes to fully experience every corner of India. While she has been back since with Guillaume, where together they spent time interviewing roleplayers for separate reports on the Indian textile and steel industries, this time round, as a family, they will fly into Mumbai and venture down to Kerala, where Leanne is hoping to complete a yoga teacher training course. Guillaume will use the time to explore the backwaters of this southern state with the boys. Later, we intend to head up the east coast towards Varanasi, the golden triangle and then cross the border into Nepal and onwards to China. Leanne's mother, who imports arts & crafts from India and Thailand, will visit during this leg of the BRICS trip to spend time with the boys and share her vast knoweldge of the country, acquired over dozens of trips to different regions of India.
People & Language
India only ranks second to the United States in terms of number of English speakers yet has, arguably, greater linguistic diversity than any other large country. The precise number of languages spoken in India is probably over 1,000, but it is often hard to define when one language begins and another ends. The 1961 census of India listed 1,652 languages, though some of these may have effectively been dialects, and a few languages have died out since then. Hindi and English are the official languages, as well as 21 others.
Music & Literature
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Did you know?
India currently holds the BRICS presidency;
According to UN estimates, India will become the most populous country in the world by 2028, when it will have about 1.45 billion inhabitants;
India has three of the world's top ten megacities, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi;
India is the most populous democracy in the world;
The popular boardgame 'Snakes & Ladders' originated in India;
There are more road deaths in India than any other country in the world;
Mahatma Gandhi was famously exposed to the brutality of the British colonial regime in South Africa where he first used nonviolent civil disobedience as a weapon to oppose it;
India's first President, Dr. Rajendra, only took 50% of his salary, claiming he did not need more than that;
India was the first country to develop extraction and purifying techniques of sugar;
Bollywood produces almost three times more movies than Hollywood per year.