Photo Of The Day: Diwali Is Coming Soon

Though Diwali – India‘s festival of lights – is more than a month away, decorations are already starting to spread through the capital of Delhi. According to Flickr user The Delhi Way, the city will be soon be “glittering in ferry lights, diyas and candles” – traditional symbols of the Hindu holiday, which are intended to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Other Diwali traditions include wearing new clothes, sharing sweets with family and lighting firecrackers to drive off evil spirits.

Do you have any photos from traditional fall festivals? Upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

BBC World Service receives millions to increase Arabic broadcasts, save Hindi broadcasts

BBC World ServiceThe BBC World Service is getting a funding increase to the tune of £2.2 million ($3.6 million) per year over the next three years.

This comes after the government broadcaster’s funds were slashed last year, forcing it to announce the cancellation of 5 of its 32 language broadcasts and reduced service on others.

The money will go to boost the Arabic language programs. An additional £9 million ($14.6 million) is being reallocated to save the Hindi shortwave service, which was slated to be shut down.

The Arabic language service is getting more attention both from the UK government and people in the region because of the ongoing unrest there. The Hindi service also has a huge number of listeners.

The BBC World Service broadcasts on TV, mobile, and online, but in many regions its shortwave broadcasts are still crucial. While listening to shortwave may seem old fashioned, in many Middle Eastern countries the Internet is censored or gets shut off completely during times of unrest. Also, many people in the developing world have a shortwave radio, but little access to the Internet.

Travel-Inspired Tattoos

I spent 29 years on Planet Earth without ever getting a tattoo. Then, in March of this year, I took the plunge. Why? Well, for me, I was finally inspired to get inked because I had an idea that was special to me. It connected me to set of memories that I never wanted to lose and had a unique personal story involving two amazing trips that I had taken.

On the inside of my left forearm I have my last name tattooed in Hindi. While traveling to India twice in 2007, I had learned that my last name (pronounced baarish in Hindi) meant rainfall. And both times that I went, despite the fact that it was not monsoon season, it poured in Delhi. The running joke amongst my Indian coworkers and friends was that I had brought the rain with me.

Immediately, I knew that I wanted to get baarish tattooed somewhere on my body. I had several of my Indian friends in Delhi and in the States write the word on paper for me (I did not want any misspellings, or worse, a completely different word tattooed by mistake). I debated where on my body to get it, what tattoo parlor to go to and whether I should try to get back to India to have it done there.

It took me a year to gather up the nerve to get inked. Now I wonder why I waited so long. My tattoo is an incredible reminder of two amazing trips to my favorite country in the world. It immediately stirs up memories of friends, places, foods, smells and experiences. And it’s my family name, in which I take a great deal of pride.

I almost got another trip-inspired tattoo this past spring. That story is less sentimental and more comical. Though it could have been tragic. While out in Osaka, Japan one night, after several sakes and Yebisu beers, my friends and I met up with a tattoo artist. He introduced us to his friends and showed us their studio. In my drunken stupor, I actually thought it would be a novel idea to get a tattoo of the Yebisu logo. Thankfully, the studio was closing and no one was available to do the job. I dodged a bullet on that one!

Have any trips motivated you to get inked? Have you gotten a tattoo while on a trip? Do you regret that shamrock on your lower back that was inspired by a few too many pints of Guinness? Share in the comments.

Word for the Travel Wise (12/19/06)

India FlagSome of you are probably sitting at home scratching your heads thinking, what ever can you get the nice Gadling lady who often brings you new food for thought? Yes, well with the last Hindi word I sort of hinted at a fine gift idea, but for those who didn’t catch my drift I could certainly use a cookbook. Why, just last week I was thinking how great it would be to make tandoori chicken in the comfort of my own home if only I knew how and had that special oven. (Double-hint.)

Today’s word is a Hindi word from India:

murgee – poultry

There are several awesome resources online to learn Hindi for free and a fee. Wikitravel Phrasebook provides many useful phrases to remember for your journey. Let’s Learn Hindi is a colorful place to pick up the basics and some additional tools. Those interested in reading Sanskrit can click here and Pimsleur has great audio books. To purchase a Lonely Planet phrasebook for the road, click here to head to Amazon.

Past Hindi words: pankhaa, Ravivar, lajawab, paisa, limbu pani, pyaaz

Word for the Travel Wise (10/21/06)

India FlagIf I had more time I swear I’d sit in a huge kitchen and learn how to cook all my favorite exotic Thai, Peruvian, Japanese, and Indian dishes. The problem is I just don’t have the time. I’m on the go A LOT and while some of my hotel rooms are conveniently equipped with a microwave and fridge, trying to make tikka masala or anything curry is not likely to go over well. Anyhow, my daydreams of being a master of the cooking arts lead us to this word which some of you may wish to request less of depending on the dish.

Today’s word is a Hindi word from India:

pyaaz – onion

There are several awesome resources online to learn Hindi for free and a fee. Wikitravel Phrasebook provides many useful phrases to remember for your journey. Let’s Learn Hindi is a colorful place to pick up the basics and some additional tools. Those interested in reading Sanskrit can click here and Pimsleur has great audio books. To purchase a Lonely Planet phrasebook for the road, click here to head to Amazon.

Past Hindi words: pankhaa, Ravivar, lajawab, paisa, limbu pani