Hindi Divas is celebrated on 14 September throughout the world. In 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the Republic of India. Under the Article 343 of the Indian Constitution, Hindi written in Devanagari script was adopted as the official language.
This year Consulate General of India along with Indian Literary & Art Society of Australia celebrated Hindi Divas on October 15th 2018. Why Hindi academicians, teachers, OCI parents, community organizations, writers and poets discussed Hindi matters to us.
As we know, Hindi is the third most spoken language of the world. Demand for Hindi is increasing overseas because parents want their children to stay in touch with our culture and roots. Apart from Bollywood and intercultural marriages, business and technology is playing a vital role in popularizing Hindi globally.
Smart phones, iPad apps and computer programs have made it easier to learn Hindi. With growing Indian economy, Hindi is a requirement for trade and business with India. All these aspects were highlighted on Hindi Divas this year.
Hindi Divas Program was introduced by the Consul Mr SK Verma, who requested Consul General Vanlal Vawna, Dr Peter Friedlander of ANU, Dr Ian Woolford of La Trobe University, Cr Raj Dixit and Rekha Rajvanshi of ILASA to light the lamp. After that Consul General Mr Vanlal Vawna addressed Hindi lovers in Hindi.
Darcy Road Public School’s Hindi students, with their teacher Ekta Chanana, sang India and Australian National Anthems. Program coordinator, Rekha Rajvanshi recited a poem ‘Vishva ki Bhasha Bane ye Kalpana, aao Hindi ki Sajaen Alpana.’ She invited the key note speaker for the day Dr Ian Woolford to speak. He talked about how he started learning Hindi as a child and then competed his PhD on famous Hindi writer Phanishwar Nath Renu’s work. His love story with Hindi continues as he teaches Hindi to non-Hindi speaking adults at La Trobe University at graduate and post graduate level.
Three panels consisted of nine Hindi teachers, ten Community & Media speakers, eleven writers & poets from India and Sydney.
Dr Peter Friedlander- Senior Hindi Lecturer at ANU spoke about he then moderated Hindi teachers’ panel. Kusum Choudhary – IABBV Hindi School, Dr Meena Srinivasan- Sanskrit School, Kulwinder Kaur –Darcy Road PS, Archana Chaudhary – West Ryde PS, Mrityunjay Kumar Singh- South Asian Hindi School Kograh, Sudesh Verma and Sarita Chekhuri from Australian Hindu Multicultural Association School of Language, Arts and Culture, Madhu Dwivedi and Nirupma Verma from Girraween Hindi Community School spoke about Hindi curriculum, teaching strategies and resources. Teachers were concerned about the lack of good Hindi resources in Australia.
Neena Badhwar editor The Indian Down Under newspaper moderated Community and Media Panel, which was attended by Dr Partha Mukherjee – AIBC, Dr Yadu Singh – FIAN,Vijai Singhal – Hindu Council of Australia, Aparna Vats – Alive FM 90.5, Gunjan Tripathi – Hindi Samaj, Pradeep Upadhyay – Radio Darpan, Sarita Chand – Pratham, Nim Gholar – Gaia Success Academy and Dave Passi – Indian Seniors Hornsby. Dr Partha Mukherjee spoke about the role of technology in promoting Hindi. Dr Yadu Singh suggested that all Hindi promoters need to work together to strengthen Hindi teaching in Australia.
Third panel was Hindi literature and poetry, which was moderated by Dr Ian Woolford. Participants in this panel were Dr RP Mathur – Aligarh Muslim University, Dr Shailja Chaturvedi, Om Verma – Devas India, Vipul Goyal, Rajeev Maini, Kusum Chaudhuri, Sidhant Nakra, Mrinal Sharm, Anil Sharma and Anil Verma. Young poet Mrinal Sharma made a mark by reciting his beautiful nostalgic poem.
Hindi Divas at the Indian Consulate was successful in bringing Hindi lovers together and the credit of this successful, thought provoking and intellectual conversation of various aspects of Hindi goes to the poet and writer Rekha Rajvanshi of ILASA.