Popular Culture in Other Languages
Recital of Sanskrit shlokas as background chorus in films, television advertisements and as slogans for corporate organizations has become a trend. The opera Satyagraha by Philip Glass uses texts from the Bhagavad Gita, sung in the original Sanskrit.
Recently, Sanskrit also made an appearance in Western pop music in two recordings by Madonna. One, "Shanti/Ashtangi", from the 1998 album Ray of Light, is the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga chant referenced above 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. 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. The lyrics of The Child In Us by Enigma also contains Sanskrit, latin and English verses.
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.
Sanskrit has also seen a significant revival in China. Musicians such as Sa Dingding have written pop songs in Sanskrit.
Dushyanth Sridhar from India has rendered the Sanskrit breathless file on Raghuveera Gadyam which is a popular video in the YouTube and this has been rendered in over 10 ragams.
Famous quotes containing the words languages, popular and/or culture:
“The trouble with foreign languages is, you have to think before your speak.”
—Swedish proverb, trans. by Verne Moberg.
“Much of the ill-tempered railing against women that has characterized the popular writing of the last two years is a half-hearted attempt to find a way back to a more balanced relationship between our biological selves and the world we have built. So women are scolded both for being mothers and for not being mothers, for wanting to eat their cake and have it too, and for not wanting to eat their cake and have it too.”
—Margaret Mead (19011978)
“As the twentieth century ends, commerce and culture are coming closer together. The distinction between life and art has been eroded by fifty years of enhanced communications, ever-improving reproduction technologies and increasing wealth.”
—Stephen Bayley (b. 1951)