Hindi Divas celebrated at The Indian Consulate along with ILASA

Hindi Divas at the Indian Consulate General of India was celebrated along with ILASA, Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia on September 15.

The session started with Consul General Vanlal Vawna welcoming the guests, Dr. Ian Woolford and Dr. Peter Friedlander also credited Rekha Rajvanshi in organising the Hindi Divas. Darcy Rd Public School children of Ekta Chanana sang the Indian national anthem and looked cute.

There were three panels with people drawn from the community who run Hindi schools or teach there, heads of Indian associations to discuss how they can contribute to the cause of Hindi in Australia and finally poetry session with poems read by local writers.

Dr. Ian Woolford, lecturer of Hindi at La Trobe conducted the poetry session and also talked about how he happened to learn Hindi and has been to Bihar in India many a times. He learnt Hindi from the age of 12 having schooled   in Trinidad where he came in contact with friends who introduced him to Bhojpuri geets, bhajans and said that he has been attracted to Hindi ever since. He said Hindi had become a global language and now he said, Hindi has arrived in Australia. He says he was very impressed by writer Phaneeshwar Nath Renu and wrote a thesis on his works. Also he has written a thesis for his Ph.D. on lok geets. He said Australia has realised that to do business with India and also to develop better understanding it should encourage Hindi. He said he saw an ad in a village in Bihar ‘Learn Australian English’.

“So I came back and said to my bosses that if in Bihar they want to learn Australian English then we ought to learn Hindi,” he read a beautiful poem on ‘Desh Aur Ghar’. People enjoyed his talk tremendously. He also talked about how he teaches at La Trobe which is todays’ Hindi the one which is changing as times are changing.

Next guest Dr. Peter Friedlander from ANU talked about his life and times in India as well as his love of Hindi language. He said he has practically spent more than forty years being engaged with Hindi and Indian culture. “We in Australia can only touch the heart of India by learning Hindi.”

He said that English translation cannot do justice to writings of poets such as Sur Das. ‘Sara ras nikal jaata hai bas reh jaata hai chhan’, he said that in translation the real essence of the writing is lost. “It’s like as if the nectar is gone and what is left is the ‘chhachh’ – the left overs.”

He says new words give him dilemma whether they are ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, new words such as ‘CD’ or ‘DVD’ which are entering now in our vocabulary.

Pallavi Sinha read a beautiful poem ‘Main Bharat ki beti hun’ which was appreciated by all.

Dr. Friendlander’s session brought forth teachers and coordinators   from IABBV, West Ryde P S, Darcy Rd P S, Girraween, Kogarah and Parramatta as they spoke about their experiences as well as difficulties and lack of resources they face.

Neena Badhwar’s session had community leaders speaking how they could help Hindi and came up with some worthwhile suggestions and others pointing to how we are not united in our efforts to promote Hindi in Australia. Although organically Hindi was moving forward   yet with united efforts it could do much better was their opinion. Dr. Partha Mukherjee from AIBC did mention that business strategies need to be brought in to further the cause of Hindi.

Last session conducted by Ian Woolford had poets reading their poems. Kusum Chaudhary’s ‘Duniya Golam Gol’ and another one on ‘mera gaon’ by Mrinal Sharma reminiscing the life in his village, Rajiv Maini a closet poet and Anil Verma’s poems were appreciated among others. People insisted Rekha Rajvanshi to read a poem of hers from ‘Mutthi Bhar Chandni’ her latest ghazal book. Audience stayed on till the end and enjoyed nice cup of tea and snacks at the end of the session courtesy The Indian Consulate, Sydney.



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