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Sanskrit Quiz with a twist

You might be surprised to know the wide reach Sanskrit has in today's popular culture!

The quiz below was a little bit of fun to follow an interview with our Headmaster, Gilbert Mane, on Indian Link Radio last week.

In a 40 minute interview, Mr Mane covered a lot of ground, including the benefits of studying Sanskrit from a young age, and the importance of children learning challenging material of all kinds, whether it be singing Mozart, learning and performing Shakespeare, debating and so on. 

The three lucky radio quiz prize winners have been mailed their books (pictured below) on Indian fairytales.

Question 1:
Sanskrit has made an appearance in Western pop music in two recordings by a famous female singer. Is that artist...

a) Madonna or B) Lady Gaga?

Question 2:
Which science fiction TV show features the Gayatri Mantra in its title sequence?
Is it a) Battlestar Galactica or b) Star Trek, the Next Generation

Question 3:
Which one of these movies DOES NOT feature Sanskrit in their soundtracks:
Is it:
A) The Matrix Revolutions
B) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
C) Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
D) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Answer Q1:
Madonna. Her "Shanti/Ashtangi", from the 1998 album Ray of Light, is the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga chant set to music. The second, "Cyber-raga", released in 2000 as a B-side to Madonna's album Music, is a Sanskrit-language ode of devotion to a higher power and a wish for peace on earth.

Answer Q2: The Sky1 version of the title sequence in season one of Battlestar Galactica 2004 features the Gayatri Mantra, taken from the Rig Veda (3.62.10). The composition was written by miniseries composer Richard Gibbs.

Answer Q3: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets does not feature Sanskrit.
The climactic battle theme of The Matrix Revolutions features a choir singing a Sanskrit prayer from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in the closing titles of the movie. Composer John Williams featured choirs singing in Sanskrit for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace


Categories: John Colet School Academic success

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