HindiUSA And Maan Hindi Pariwar jointly hold children’s poetry contest

Judges and Chief Guests at the Transcontinental Hindi Poetry Contest organized jointly by HindiUSA and Maan Hindi Pariwar, India.
Photo : Courtesy Raj Mittal

YouTube and Zoom participants were recently treated to live streaming of thirty young contestants enthusiastically reciting classic Hindi poems at the Transcontinental Kids Poetry Contest organized jointly by HindiUSA and Maan Hindi Pariwar (माँ हिन्दी परिवार), India.

HindiUSA has been working in the U.S. to promote the use and appreciation of Hindi language and Indian culture among children born here. Maan Hindi Pariwar is a New Delhi-based organization dedicated to promoting Hindi language. Both organizations have a common interest of fostering deeper understanding and friendship through sharing of ideas and programming.

Thirty contestants between the ages of 9 and 14 from India and from the U.S. recited poems by renowned poets including Harivanshrai Bachchan, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Nirala, Kamlesh Sharma, Kavita Tiwari and more and were judged on their rendering style, understanding and pronunciation.

Fifteen of the participants were from New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Canada. The other 15 contestants from India were from famous schools in Telangana, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Mumbai.

Of the five judges, 2 were from the U.S., Pravesh Mishra and Sapna Sardana; and 3 were from India, Jatinder Kaur, Premlata Chandana, and Meenu Kapoor. The event was also graced by special guests including Umesh Joshi, Dr. Ranjit Singh, and Shri Raghubir Sharma from the Home Department, Government of India.

Avani Rana from Shriram Shiksha Mandir in Delhi won the first place, while the second place was bagged by Dhriti from NSM School in Mumbai’s suburb Vile Parle. Manika Shukla from APJ School in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida won the third place, thus making it an all girl winners’ contest. Many contestants won special prizes for their performances.

“The competition was intense and the performances were outstanding,” Vice President and Treasurer of HindiUSA, Raj Mittal, told News India Times. ‘What stood out was the talent and the preparation by the participants,” he added. All the contestants displayed a high level of skill and dedication, bringing their unique style and interpretation of some of the best poems of Hindi language, Mittal said.

Participants reciting poems at the Transcontinental Hindi Poetry Contest organized jointly by HindiUSA and Maan Hindi Pariwar, India. Photo : Courtesy Raj Mittal

He said the contestants from India obviously had an edge in terms of pronunciation, accent and fluency, their being native speakers of the language and living in the midst of people who spoke the language at all the time around them. “This proficiency in the language contributed to their slightly higher marks in the pronunciation category,” Mittal said.

Performance of the U.S. based contestants also stood out against this backdrop, making it praiseworthy to observe their grasp of a language which is foreign to them, their deep understanding and appreciation of the poetry of Hindi, and their dedication and determination to learn the language and its culture well, according to Mittal.

All the participants were awarded certificates of participation and monetary prizes, in Indian rupees and in dollars, with the three winners getting prizes of rupees two thousand, fifteen hundred and one thousand according to their place.

Organizing this event required a thorough preparation which began a month in advance and the event was coordinated on the Zoom platform for easy participation. There were several elimination rounds, particularly in India where close to 150 children from various schools applied, from which 15 were selected based on their talent. HindiUSA chose their 15 participants based on their previous participation in poetry contests. HindiUSA held rehearsals and fine tuning of their enunciation and recitation, according to Mittal.

At the end of the event, founders Devendra and Rachita Singh of HindiUSA and Founder Dr. Pankaj Sahil of Maan Hindi Pariwar thanked the participants and the viewers for their encouragement and involvement.

Although this was the first such event organized by the two organizers, the competition received much accolade and positive  comments from viewers who asked for more of such events. Encouraged by the success of their first poetry competition, the organizers jointly decided to hold at least three competitions every year between India and the US, in an effort to bring  together children and parents from both countries, Mittal said.

The competition served as a celebration of the shared love for Hindi poetry and the immense talent of children from the U.S. and India, Mittal said. “It highlighted the power of language to connect people across borders,” he said.



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