Languages preserve our important cultural heritage. We should keep our mother languages safe from extinction by encouraging our children to study a language.
IABBV Hindi School celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 21 with the commencement of their fifth center for Hindi at Epping West PS. Learning Languages reveals how other societies think and feel, what they have experienced and value, and how they express themselves. Languages preserve our important cultural heritage. Please take responsibility to ensure that our mother languages remain safe from extinction by encouraging your children to study a language!
The Indo-Aust Bal Bharathi Vidyalaya (IABBV) Hindi School was establihed in June 1987, a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers. It is the first structured Hindi-language institution in Sydney NSW Australia dedicated to the teaching of Hindi and has been operating ever since with support from the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Education and Communities’ Community Languages Schools Program. Besides formalizing the teaching program for Hindi, IABBV Hindi School has performed vital social services, by helping to welcome, encourage and support newly migrated families and provide them with a network to help settle in Australia. We also aim to bridge the inter-generational gap with our seniors and work closely with the NSW Police to increase awareness of community policing programs.
At IABBV Hindi School, the principles of modern language teaching in Australia are incorporated in the teaching of Hindi. Although the program is aimed primarily at school children, IABBA offerS a program of elementary Hindi for toddlers and cover the entire spectrum of formal general Hindi education not only for school-going children but also for adults at basic, intermediate and advanced levels having more than 200 students each year. It also prepare students for 2-Unit Hindi Continuers in the HSC.
The IABBV Hindi School has completed 30 years of teaching Hindi and now has 6 centers for Hindi. Classes are run every Sunday morning at Thornleigh West Public School and after school at John Purchase Public School, Waitara Public School, Epping West PS, Hornsby South PS and Epping Public School.
The inclusion of Hindi in the national curriculum with the release of the “Australia in the Asian Century White Paper” and the development of a K-10 Curriculum by ACARA in 2015, reflects Australia’s acknowledgement of India as part of Asia, and of the 21st century as the ‘Asian Century’. It realises a long-held hope for the Indian community, affirming their sense of identity as Hindi takes its place alongside Mandarin as a language for student at Australian schools. It is also more meaningful for future Australians as they go on to have a more active engagement with India.
In NSW, Hindi is being taught only in seven schools immersed in mainstream curriculum at West Ryde Public school, Girraween Public School, Parramatta North Public School, Darcy Public School, Liverpool Public School, Kogarah Public School and Campsie Public School. Each year we are hopeful and try to increase this number.
Keeping language and culture alive has been important for immigrants to Australia. All communities have a history of schools started by parents and community members to pass on their language and culture to the next generation. For those who have the opportunity to learn Hindi, the gains are threefold: an opportunity to strengthen your understanding of literacy as you compare and contrast the structure and features of your own language; the cultural knowledge you gain gives great insight into the rich heritage of India; and whether you learn the basics or extend your engagement with the language through life – you have enhanced your skills, knowledge and understandings.
Mrs Mala Mehta, President/Honorary Founder of IABBV Hindi School emphasizes that the passion for language is in our generation; as migrants, we are the pioneers. It will only transfer to the next generation if we teach them.