Mystery letter shows up in little girl’s birthday gift

Posted at 2:59 PM, Aug 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-23 08:36:35-04

WAYLAND, Mich. — A birthday gift for a little girl in Wayland quickly became a mystery her entire family wanted to solve after finding a note attached to it.

Hannah Turner, 7,  got a notepad on Wednesday for her birthday, Inside, she found a letter still attached, written in another language. Since that time, she and her family have been trying to crack the code of where it came from and what it means.

"My oldest found it when she opened it up," Heidi Turner, Hannah's mother, said. "She assumed that I wrote it in there and I laughed and said, 'No, mom didn't write that.' The package was sealed so I knew that it had to have been written before it was shipped out."

While sitting at their dining room table, Hannah, along with her parents and three sisters, talked about what they've been doing since the letter arrived.

"I did Google Translate but I got nowhere," Heidi Turner said. "A lot of the issue [is] when you look on the letter some of the letters are hard to figure out what's a 'D', what's a 'G' and what's an 'I', what's an 'L.'"

While doing their research, the Turner family was able to make one determination. The notebook, they said, was manufactured in India.

"We think it's Hindi but we don't know," Heidi Turner said.

FOX 17 took their hunch to Sonia Dalmias. Born in India, Dalmias is a professor at Grand Valley State University.

"This is just like poetry, like you know in the U.S. you have roses are red, violets are blue. It's kind of similar to that," Dalmias said. "So, somebody's written just a few lines...romantic lines. So, that there's this young girl and one lover and there's some reference to food and some reference to water."

The message, Dalmias said, is spoken in Hindi but written in English. Either way, one could probably refer to it as the language of love.

"They're romantic in India," Dalmias said. "It's one of the largest populated countries in the world for a reason, right?"

After turning up half way around the world, landing in the hands of a 7-year-old, Hannah who learned what the letter meant by watching Dalmia's interview had one word for it.