Are you ready for some football…in Mumbai?

January 22, 2013 by Sheila Morgan · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Holidays, Translation Services, Travel 

American Football to be clear!  No, I do not mean the Super Bowl in New Orleans coming up in a couple of weeks.  I mean the big playoff scheduled in Mumbai in February.

Most football fans are familiar with the annual NFL game played in London every year.  Next year, they are playing at least 2 with the Jaguar’s new owner has promised that one home game a year will be in Wembley Stadium.  None of this is too surprising.  Heck New England Patriots’ fans can get to London in the same time it takes to get to Los Angeles.  But it was very surprising to hear of this year’s new football venture – a new league in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The new venture is backed by some familiar names in the sport – Kurt Warner, Mike Ditka, Michael Irving, Ron Jaworski and others.   The attraction for the investors is the large potential TV audience.  With the huge population and a need for more sports on TV, they believe that the potential for growth is huge.  Many tens of thousands of young Indians return home from studying in the US and form an instant fan base.

The players and coaches are all natives although it would not be surprising to see a few imports in coming seasons.  The initial tryouts last spring drew over 4000 candidates, mostly from the sport of Rugby.  They are attracted not only to the new sport but also to the fact that the pay is higher!  The league is also working with Bollywood to add more pageantry to the game.

Rahul Kelaskar, a 24-year-old wide receiver for the Mumbai Gladiators, dreams of being the next Jerry Rice.  The caliber of play currently may be more like a high school game in the United States.  But the investors’ (and players’) hopes remain high with claims that one day the Mumbai team will be worth more than the New York Yankees!

Pennsylvania Dutch

With all the publicity about the new hit show “Breaking Amish” there have been numerous mentions of the Pennsylvania Dutch language.  With a background of mostly Irish with the rest divided into Welsh and Pennsylvania Dutch, I grew up knowing a lot about the Irish side of the family but very little about the Pennsylvania Dutch.

I do fondly remember the ShooFly Pie (a type of molasses pie), Scrapple (mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour) and Chow-Chow (a regional mixed vegetable relish) on holidays.  I often heard expressions like “the milk is all” meaning the milk is all gone.  But we were not Amish.  In fact only about 10% of the Pennsylvania Dutch population were “plain people.”  The Amish, however, are the only group to maintain the German language in everyday speech.

Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants actually spoke German and the term came from a shortening of Deutsch (German) over the years.  The actual dialect spoken by most of the immigrants was a Pfatz dialect which can still be understood today in the upper Rhine Valley.  The language became muddled over the years as elements of English and High German (from the bible) mixed in. German was widely spoken throughout many communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania until the early 1900’s when backlash against the Germans due to the threat of WWI discouraged many people from speaking it especially in public.  Visiting my relatives in Pennsylvania, however, I still hear the lilt and oddly structured sentences used in everyday speech.

The early Germans left a distinct impact on the early settlements in the United States.  Unlike many of the religious groups (Puritans, Quakers, etc.), the Pennsylvania Dutch like music, color and art.  Many examples of their glass, stenciling and quilting can be seen today in local craft stores.  They invented the Conestoga wagon and founded the company which would become Bethlehem Steel.

In the late 1700’s, a vote was held to require all US laws be written in German.  This was never passed although the vote to consider the vote was really close (one vote!)

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