Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Who is this man?
It’s not Jesus. It’s not Zeus. It’s not even Buffalo Bill Cody on his baptismal day.
Why, it’s none other than Rabindrath Tagore (1861 – 1941), the Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. A Pirali Brahmin from Kolkata (Calcutta), he was the author of Gitanjali and became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature. Also, as we learned in yesterday’s post, he was the first person to apply the honorific Mahatma (“Great Soul” in Sanskrit) to Mohandas K. Ghandhi.
According to Wikipedia, “In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric personality, flowing hair, and other-worldly dress earned him a prophet-like reputation in the West. His elegant prose and magical poetry remain largely unknown outside Bengal.”
And “As an exponent of the Bengal Renaissance he advanced a vast canon that comprised paintings, sketches and doodles, hundreds of texts, and some two thousand songs; his legacy endures also in the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University.”
And “He composed two national anthems: the Republic of India’s Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh’s Amar Shonar Bangla.”
You can read all about him (there’s lots more) here.
Here is Jana Gana Mana (4:21) and here is Amar Shonar Bangla (4:22).
Blogging is so broadening.
I tried very hard to find Roseanne Roseannadanna and her uncle, Rabbi Hosanna Roseannadanna, singing Jana Gana Mana but, alas, such a video was nowhere to be found on YouTube.