Hindi Humor: Dayalu

Before we close for the December holidays I’ve been making the last session of the year a Christmas celebration. I always like to incorporate Hindi humor…this week’s is Hindi Humor: Dayaalu. I’ll explain what that means.

I created some English-Hindi stories with lessons around kindness, giving, and spreading cheer. Throughout the stories I plant Hindi words to replace the English. In one story, the students came across the word, kind — dayalu or as I spell it for them, dayaaloo. Seeking a way for the word to be memorable, I said:

Me: It’s an aalu with a dayi in front.

Students smiling/chuckling: so…it’s a yogurt-potato?

Me: EXACTLY! It’s a yogurt-potato…that means kind.

The kids dug it. First of all, aalu is one of those words like paani. It seems like every desi kid from a Hindi speaking family, knows those two words: paani and aalu. They might not know anything else in Hindi, but they know those two.

You know and I know that yogurt is not dayi, it’s dahi. But, like my students, I also grew up saying, dayi. So when they said it’s a yogurt-potato, I was in total synch with them. This play on words made them laugh (which is always awesome) and more importantly they remembered it! #Mission Accomplished.

Hindi humor is always welcome in my class. Anything to bring smiles to my students’ faces and ensure they’re having a good time learning Hindi and Indian culture.

Christmas Kahaani and Hindi Vocabulary

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