For literature lovers and aficionados, attending the Jaipur Literature Festival in India is like having a luxurious and opulent feast. Attendees and organizers describe the festival as the greatest literary show in the world. The festival has attracted the interest of more than one million book lovers, not only in India but worldwide. It's a grand literature festival that hosts local and international speakers.
The core values of the Jaipur Literature Festival is to serve as a free, fair, non-aligned and democratic platform offering access to all types of literature.
Each year, the Jaipur Literature Festival brings together some of the best writers, entertainers, humanitarians, thinkers, business leaders, politicians and sports people from around the world. They come to support the freedom to engage and express their thoughts and ideas through intellectual and thoughtful dialogue and debate.
The greatest literary show is held annually in a stunning setting – the Diggi Palace, a majestic cultural heritage right within Jaipur, the Pink City. The current festival directors are Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple. For 2019, the five-day festival will run from January 24 until January 28.
Rajasthan's capital, the historical city of Jaipur is the region's largest metropolis, which serves as the country's gateway to the most elaborate and showy state in India. It gained popularity from its nickname, the Pink City. There are two reasons for this. One is that the color of the stones used for all city structures is a pinkish shade. The other reason is that pink connotes hospitality. When Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur in 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh had the entire city painted in pink to welcome the city's distinguished guests. The residents continued what had become a tradition, which eventually became a law. This means that all structures should have the same pink color.
Aside from the color, the city of Jaipur captivates visitors through its traditions, culture, art, architecture, textiles and jewelry, which are all vibrant, colorful and luxurious. It's a modern city that still maintains its traditional values and roots. It's teeming with forts, palaces and intricately decorated havelis.
The venue for the Jaipur Literature Festival is the former Diggi Palace, which was converted into a hotel, the Diggi Palace Hotel. Although, part of it is still occupied by the former royal family, who also operates the Heritage Hotel. It has been the festival's main venue since 2006.
Jaipur Literature Festival 2019
This year's Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) promises to be a grand one, with several prize-winning authors from overseas, and local writers who are known to write in India's regional languages as well as English. Some of the popular personalities who are coming this year are:
- Daniel Mallory, (a.k.a. A.J. Finn) American writer of The Woman In The Window
- Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif, best known for The Map Of Love
- Scottish novelist Alexander Mccall Smith, creator of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
- Tamil and Igbo writer Akwaeke Emezi, who wrote the novel, Freshwater
- New York University professor of writing André Aciman, who wrote the books Call Me By Your Name and Out of Egypt
- 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Literature winner, Andrew Sean Greer of the United States, author of the book Less
- Ornit Shani of India, a political scientist who is currently working on the history of India's first elections
- Australian author, Germaine Greer, who's a champion of international feminism. One of her controversial books is The Female Eunuch
- Scottish Irvine Welsh, whose novels Porno and Trainspotting have been made into movies
- Katty Kay, a BBC journalist and author of The Confidence Code For Girls
How the Jaipur Literature Festival started
The Jaipur Literature Festival was established in 2006, with the first organizers sharing a common idea of bringing together writers, authors, journalists and other personalities linked to literature. At first, the gathering only attracted 100 attendees, but as each year passed, the number of guest speakers and attendees grew.
It's amazing to note that in 2009, it had 140 speakers, attended by international and local personalities including Farah Khan, Colin Thubron, Hanif Kureshi and Tina Brown. In 2010, it had 172 speakers and special guests, such as Gulzar (Sampooran Singh Kalra), Parhan Pramuk, Javed Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi. In 2012, the festival was highlighted by the attendance of Oprah Winfrey and Mr. Anupam Kher.
As the festival grows older, it gets bigger, attracting celebrities, entertainers and prominent personalities to speak and share their thoughts and ideas on the enhancement and development of literature. The number of activities also increased.
Aside from the authors listed earlier, attendees of this year's literature festival will have the chance to listen to famous and award-winning authors. Other special guests include English novelist Mark Haddon (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Indian-American writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Mistress of Spices, Palace of Illusions, Sister of My Heart, One Amazing Thing, Oleander Girl) and American writer Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple.
Surviving the Jaipur Literature Festival
The literature festival in Jaipur is not the only literature festival that is held in India. Several regions have their own, but the Jaipur Literature Festival is the largest in India and the world. It is likewise celebrated in different countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.
The international literature festival has evolved into a lifestyle event as it now involves other industries, such as tourism and hospitality.
- Lodging. Because of the number of visitors, both from India and international, who will be flocking to the city, it is inevitable that places to stay will be a premium. So, it is important to book your lodgings in advance. As you know, the traffic situation in India is horrendous; therefore, it is better to find a place to stay that is centrally located so commuting won't be a problem.
- Attire. The key here is to dress comfortably and smart, because there are many glamorous events that happen in the evening after the forums. The temperature in Jaipur is going to be pleasant, in the 10-30 °C or (50-86 °F) range, so wearing light woolen clothes will suffice.
- Schedule. Each day is packed with activities, and the events start as early as nine in the morning. It usually starts with a music program while the forums and lectures are scheduled from 10 in the morning to about six in the evening. The JLF is a mix of free and paid events that require registration. The cultural programs and music events that are scheduled in the evening are not free, so if you want to attend them, make sure that you book early as well, as these activities are very popular.
- Traveling to the venue. Depending on where you were able to book your lodging, remember that the roads close to the Diggi Palace Hotel will be closed to traffic. The best way to reach the venue is to ride a taxi, get off about 100 to 200 meters from the venue and walk the rest of the way.
Making yourself comfortable
With the number of activities each day, it is important to make yourself comfortable the entire day. Here are some tips.
- While the weather is pleasant, there will be plenty of sunshine, so carry water with you. As much as possible, carry only the bare necessities, such as your mobile phone, camera, power bank, a notebook and pens.
- It is a good idea to get a copy of the program schedule ahead of time so you can choose the sessions you want to attend. A trick here is to attend the previous session before the one you wish to attend so you are assured of a seat. There are sessions where the writers and celebrity speakers are very popular, so ensure that you have a good seat.
- The crowd gets bigger during the weekends, so make sure that you are ready for a surge in visitors, especially the local ones.
- You won't go hungry, as there are several food stalls around the venue selling continental and international food, although they do not come cheap.
- Shopping is part of the festival so you can visit the bookstore and several stalls that sell handicrafts, art items and clothes.
Book translation – How is it done?
Aside from the experience of attending the largest literary festival in the world, did you ever wonder how a book is translated?
When a book is translated, many more readers will be able to enjoy the book. But translating a book is a complicated process. To simplify it, here's what happens on the publisher's side.
- Have a book.
- Sell the translation rights to different publishers around the world.
The second item is not an easy task. To get the book known, the original publisher usually contacts other publishers and sells the book to them before the translation process can happen. The publisher enters the books in international book fairs, meets with foreign publishers or arranges meetings with publishers and international rights agents. These agents live in different countries, so they have a feel for which books will be suitable for a specific publisher.
- Once a publisher gets interested, a contract is drawn. After this, details will be attended to, such as file conversions, discussion about cover designs (when needed), adapting the design and typography to local preferences and finding the right book translation company.
Here's the process on the translation side.
- The translator will read the book and will take note of the things that could be important during the translation process. The translator has to understand each character, the messages the author wants to convey, as well as the settings and environment. These are the things that help the translator understand the story better.
- Next, the translator will have to consider some of the words and phrases that may be difficult to translate into the target language and find other ways to convey the same context without deviating too much from the intention. This may include slangs, jargon, idioms, puns, jokes and other terms, which may or may not have an exact translation equivalent in the preferred language.
Accurate literary translations, whatever the language
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We work with more than 100 languages, so you have many choices when you need a translation of your manuscript, book, novel or literary articles from Hindi or English into whatever language you require. Get in touch with us at your convenience when you need literary or book translations, as we are open 24/7, 365 days of the year. You can call us at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email: Contact us. Friendly customer representatives who speak your language are always on standby to assist clients.
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