ASEAN-India rally participants pick up new words

The ASEAN-India car rally has also turned into a language class for participants, who have learnt new words in each country to communicate and form friendships in the last two weeks.

The Hindi word 'chalo', which means 'let's go', is the most popular among the participants, who are always in a hurry, racing from one halt to another.

Other words such as 'Sawadee Krap', 'Mingalava' and 'Korp Koon Krap' -- all of which translate into greetings -- have also become a hit with the rallyists as they seek to strike a chord with locals who have come out in droves to cheer them on in every country.

The organisers from CII have always been on their toes to ensure punctuality and every time the 31 Mahindra cars resume their journey after stopping for refuelling or even a break for meals, they call out 'chalo, chalo chalo' to get the participants back in their cars.

With time, the participants have picked up the word and now after every stop, they call out 'chalo chalo' to each other.

Similarly, Sawadee krap, and 'Min ga la ba' have also become a hit with the participants to greet the people in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.

As thousands of people turn up on the streets to cheer the rally, the participants have been using the local language to greet them.

Also to wish thank you, some of the participants have been regularly using the Thai word 'korp koon krap', much to the amusement of the local people there.

The participants from different countries have been teaching each other how to say 'hello' or 'thankyou' in their respective languages.

While some learnt and forgot instantly, there are a few who are using them to communicate with the local people in the different countries.

"The rally is a great way of learning new things about a country and language of course is an important part of it," Mohammad Rafee from Malaysian Team says.

But the learning doesn't just end at picking up words for greetings, some rallyist were keen to learn the local expression for 'I love you' to flirt with girls.

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