Hindi vs. Hindu, Plus Dileep Rao’s Jeopardy Appearance

While watching Jeopardy! today, I was dismayed to see an answer that described Bali as a “predominantly Hindi” island in Indonesia. That’s grammatically incorrect; Hindi is a language, Hindu is a religious designation (for more, check out the SAJA Stylebook.)

I always have two simultaneous reactions when things like this happen 1) Annoyance directed towards the Jeopardy! writers for not knowing the difference between the two terms 2) Annoyance at myself for not having the lightning-quick reflexes required to take a photo of the offending clue.*

A quick search of YouTube and Hulu didn’t turn up the right video, but I did learn something interesting: Dileep Rao of Avatar fame appeared on the show back in 2002. Alex Trebek introduced him as “an actor and die-hard Denver Broncos fan.”

Rao won $34,400 on Jeopardy! and described himself as grateful for the experience in a 2009 interview with Bullz-Eye.com:

…I’ll tell you something: as an actor, and as most actors know, the surviving until you start to really make enough money to put money aside and think about long-term solvency, that’s the hardest part of choosing that career. And “Jeopardy!” was a cash infusion that allowed me to write for a long time – it was like a writing fellowship, so I could write screenplays and teach myself to write – and work out all of my little career things. I was doing a play on stage when I did it, and it really helped me. I didn’t drain it completely, but I invested it, and I survived off of it, and I worked a little less on my day job. I firmly believe it accelerated my development as an actor and a writer.

Watch Part 1 of Rao’s Jeopardy! appearance below:

* If anyone has a recording of last night’s episode of Jeopardy and/or a screenshot of that Bali answer, drop me a line at lakshmigandhiblog [AT] gmail DOT com


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