International Hindi Association’s 21st Biennial Convention in Indiana

Youth participants at the International Hindi Association’s biennial convention held in Indiana July 28-29, 2023. PHOTO: IHA

The Indiana chapter of the International Hindi Association (IHA) headed by Dr. Rakesh Kumar, hosted its 21st Biennial Convention in Indiana on July 28-29, 2023 in Carmel, Indiana.

It was organized in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in Chicago. Dr. Kumar’s IHA team included Vice President Vidya Singh, Secretary Dr. Kumar Abhinava, and  members of the Organizing Committee, and several volunteers, mainly youth.

Indiana Secretary of State presenting State message to IHA-Indiana president, Dr. Rakesh Kumar at the July 28-29 International Hindi Association biennial convention. PHOTO: IHA

The theme of the convention was “Hindi Education for the Next Generation”, and it involved several youth in many activities including introduction of presenters, dignitaries, and Kavis (poets).

The Convention was attended by India’s Consul General Somnath Ghosh as the chief guest and Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales, as the guest of honor.

More than 350 people attended the convention. They included five Hindi professors from India, seven professors from US universities, and about 40 Hindi activists and distinguished guests from different parts of the United States.

The Consul General thanked participants who came to attend the Convention from India and different parts of the United States, including students. He briefed the audience about the policy of the Government of India to promote all Indian languages and steps taken in this regard, gave ideas to Indian diaspora for making arrangement for study of Hindi and other Indian languages in local schools and universities; development of apps to learn Hindi, etc.

IHA Vice President Vidya Singh presenting an appreciation to Consul General of India in Chicago Somnath Ghosh. Dr. Kumar Abhinava (IHA-Indiana’s secretary) and Dr. Rakesh Kumar (IHA-Indiana’s president) are also present. PHOTO: IHA

A new dimension at this convention was middle and high school students taking on important roles as emcees for different sessions.

Kavi Sammelan at the International Hindi Association biennial convention held in Indiana July 28-29, 2023: Dr. Sarita Sharma, Dr. (Col.) V. P. Singh, Sudeep Bhola and Gaurav Sharma. PHOTO: IHA

Besides sessions on different topics related to the promotion of the Hindi language and Hindi studies on July 28, the Convention featured a Kavi Sammelan July 29.

Among others, the Kavi Sammelan was attended by an ICCR-sponsored poet of distinction and national repute, Col. (Retd) V.P. Singh, who served as a doctor in the Indian Army for 30 years.

A section of the audience at the Kavi Sammelan held during the July 28-29 biennial convention of the International Hindi Association, in Indiana. PHOTO: IHA

The other poets who came from India to attend the Kavi Sammelan were: Dr. Sarita Sharma, former advisor to the Ministry of Culture; Sudeep Bhola, and Gaurav Sharma.

A Hindi drama presentation by Mamta Ahar, and a Kathak dance by Dr. Anuradha Dubey, both from India, drew much praise from the audience.

Leading Hindi language academics and language learning enablers from the US, India, Mexico and Pakistan were present. That session began with the most prominent professor of Hindi in the US, Dr. Mithilesh Mishra, whose lecture was titled, “Issues in Maintenance of Hindi in the American Diaspora” wherein he highlighted the fact that Universities in 23 states  offer Hindi as an elective course. But he also encouraged more efforts to bring courses to the remaining states in US.

Prof. Mishra also informed the audience about the scholarships and grants available for taking up Hindi in universities.

Other topics presented included insights into parents and children’s interactions in speaking Hindi or the mother tongue (by Dr. Ekhteyar Ali); the role of grandparents in making it interesting for the grandchildren to learn about India’s rich cultural heritage through their telling of stories (by Dr. Rashmi Sharma); the rich learning of mother tongue from parents and grandparents(by Dr. Faiza Saleem); online tools available for learning Hindi (by Ajay Chadda)i; Introducing Hindi language teaching in Midwest American schools – Challenges, opportunities and possibilities (by Mr. Rakesh Mehrotra); Challenges in continuing with standard Hindi across contexts (by Dr. Anjana Sengar); Hindi, family and friends in personality development of Indian youth (by Dr. Usha Kiran); the nature of language teaching in schools (by Bharti Mishra) and finally, a panel discussion was chaired by Dr. Mahesh Goel and his wife, as well as Dr. Bajpai and his spouse, which summarized the main points from all presentations and asked those present to pledge to keep working on promoting Hindi.



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