Learning from India

It's time for us to admit it: India is a world power. Smaller still than the US, but bigger than Germany, and people are getting more and more familiar with its culture(s).

So it's time to start learning Indian. My suggestion is to start with "Jugaad." It's a good word. I read it for the first time in an interview with Vikas Swarup, the Indian diplomat and author of "Q&A", the novel on which "Slumdog Millionaire" is based. He describes the word thus:

"Jugaad means to get the job done, somehow or other. It’s really the spirit of India. My phone recently had water damage and I gave it to the Nokia dealer. He said, “No can do. Can’t be fixed. Just buy a new phone.” If that had happened in India, some local guy in a little shop would have cloned an old Samsung or Motorola or whatever, and five minutes later, “Here you are Mr. Swarup, it works!” They would never say it cannot be done. Jugaad is the spirit of whatever-it-takes. That’s India. And that’s the spirit of those kids."

(Complete interview here.)

Learn this word and use it. You need it.


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