The 14th International Linguistics Olympiad will be hosted at the
Infosys Development Center in Mysore, India

About India

India is a country in South Asia bound by three water bodies in the South (the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean), and the majestic Himalayas in the North. India is a land of incredible diversity — home to many cultures, religions, cuisines and, most importantly, languages.

The name India is derived from “Indus”, the name of the river on whose banks the Indus Valley civilization flourished. It is one of the oldest known human civilizations, dating back to 3000 BCE. As of today, most of their seals remain undeciphered, posing an exciting challenge to linguists of this century. In fact, India has a rich history in the study of Linguistics as well. One of the first formal documentations of grammar was composed by Pāṇini in his book, Aṣṭādhyāyī. Written in the 4th century BCE, the work outlines around 4,000 rules of Sanskrit morphology, syntax and semantics.

Even in ancient times, India was well known for it’s spicy food (or more precisely - its multitude of spices). Travelers from across the world would come to India in search of spices and condiments, including cinnamon, pepper, and turmeric (all native to southern India). These adventurous traders and pilgrims travelled along the Silk Route, an ancient trade network that connected Europe and Asia. Along with enjoying spices, the ancient Indians apparently had a sweet tooth too, as they began working on methods to refine and crystallize sugar cane juice. Their efforts paid off in the 4th century CE, when the first documented sugar in history was produced in India.

Four religions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism — originated in India, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the 1st millennium CE, also shaping India's diverse culture. The Mughals, in particular, played an important role in introducing elements of Islamic culture to the Indian subcontinent. The Mughal Empire was established in India with the victory of Babur over Ibrahim Lodhi in 1526. A major Mughal contribution to the Indian subcontinent was their unique architecture. Of the several monuments built during the reign of the Mughals, perhaps best known is the Taj Mahal, a stunning white facade constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife. The Mughals also brought with them an eclectic artistic tradition and the Urdu language to add to India’s already vibrant mix of art forms and languages

India’s diversity transcends the human constructs of art forms, cuisines, languages, and religions. An astounding variety of landforms can be found here - be it the majestic, snow-capped Himalayas, the scorching sandy deserts of Rajasthan, lush evergreen forests dotting north-eastern India, or the white-sand beaches with shimmering blue waters along the peninsular coast, India has them all. Such a wide range of habitats have helped make India one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. The stately peacock with its resplendent tail is the national bird of India,while the dignified Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal.

Complementing the naturally vibrant scenery are the people - their art, dance and music. The graceful Bharatanatyam dancers from South India, the marvellous traditional art forms from central India and the hauntingly soulful Sufi music are only some of India’s staggering folk arts.

About Mysore(Mysuru)

Courtesy: Prashant B. S. and Ali Ellil

Mysore (recently renamed Mysuru), is the third-largest city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It served as the capital of the Mysore Princely Kingdom for nearly six hundred years, until 1947 when the capital was shifted to the nearby metropolis of Bangalore. Mysore is unique in having retained its royal family, and the Wodeyar family has resided in the palaces of Mysore for many centuries now.

The Wodeyar Kings being great patrons of art and culture, the city flourished, with its dazzling displays of palaces, parks, fountains and hills. It is no wonder then that Mysore has earned the sobriquet of Cultural Capital of South India. Mysore has also produced some of the greatest authors in the country, particularly in the field of Kannada literature (Kannada being the official language of the state).

Usually a quiet and calm city, Mysore springs to life during the Dasara festival for ten days in September-October. While the palaces remain lit throughout the ten days, the massive festivities occur on the ninth and tenth days; the royal sword and the Goddess Chamundeshwari are paraded in a procession of elephants, camels and horses, accompanied by drums, music bands and dance groups in riotous colours.

Maharaja Sir Sri Krishnaraja Wodiyar by K Keshavayya
Portrait of Maharaja Sir Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar Bahadur

About Infosys

Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology, and outsourcing and next-generation services. With 179,000+ employees and clients in more than 50 countries, it is one of the largest multinational corporations borne out of India. Infosys provides strategic consulting and operational leadership to enterprises, and co-creates innovative solutions in the areas of mobility, sustainability, big data, and cloud computing. In 1981, seven engineers started Infosys Limited with just US$250, and today it has 85 sales and marketing offices and 100 development centers across the globe.

At the Infosys Campus, Mysore

Infosys Mysore Development Center is a 337-acre lush green campus well-known for its eco-friendly and sustainable design. It is one of the largest campuses in the world. In 2013, the International Earth Science Olympiad was hosted in this campus.