The U.S. Embassy India is celebrating September as the month of U.S.-India friendship, and the diplomats are busy showcasing their respect by reciting Indian poems and taking road trips. The last two weeks have been busy for U.S. diplomats in India as they were learning Indian languages such as Hindi and Urdu to recite the poems of Ghalib and Dagh.

Amid spiralling Indo-Pak tensions, eminent Urdu poets believe cultural exchange between the two countries and visits of artists must be kept away from the purview of politics. Many Urdu poets expressed this desire on the sidelines of the 'Jashn-e-Bahar Mushaira' here last evening. A galaxy of poets, including Javed Akhtar, recited their poetry at the symposium to a packed house. In its 19th edition, this was the first time the Urdu poetry symposium had no representation from Pakistan.

In spite of the jubiliation over surgical strikes inside PoK to 'avenge' Uri attack and flight of Pakistani artistes from India, Pakistani music lovers from Bengal see music and it's exchange as the only path in ensuring long-lasting peace between the two nations. [...] Exchange of artistes instead of kicking them out of the two antagonist countries is felt by some as a way to increase cultural exchange.

The Pakistan High Commission has started an Urdu Language Training Center in the Sri Lankan capital. The avowed purpose of the venture is to help Lankans who go to Pakistan either for higher studies or to do business, communicate with locals. But it is undeniable that one of the aims of the Center is to counter the spread of Hindi, which is already a hugely popular language in Lanka thanks to Bollywood films and their songs.

Pakistan's new cartoon superhero who fights bad guys disguised in a flowing black burka is set to go global, her creator told AFP, with plans afoot to broadcast the show in 60 countries. The Urdu-language animation "Burka Avenger," showing the adventures of a mild-mannered teacher who uses her superpowers to fight local gangsters trying to close down the girls' school where she works, hit Pakistani TV screens last month.

May 21, 2011

Chennai’s The Musalman is the last handwritten Urdu paper... The Ministry of External Affairs’ Public Diplomacy Division released on YouTube an 11-minute film on The Musalman... Dutta hopes that when the film is shown in Arab countries and Europe it will generate support.