According to Yuva Hindi Sansthan, a large number of Elementary, Middle and High School students assembled over Zoom Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, to attend the first day of their online weekly Hindi class and celebrate Hindi Day as the official language of India.
A press release from Yuva Hindi Sansthan said parents also joined the event.
The YHS is a New Jersey based non-profit organization, joined with its sister organization Hindi Sangam Foundation and Shikshayatan Cultural Center of New York to organize the event.
The Mauritius-based World Hindi Secretariat, a joint venture of India and Mauritius, established to monitor progress of Hindi learning worldwide, also supported the virtual event.
Rohan Sharma, a student of class 10, displayed his Hindi language proficiency by reciting a poem from the parts of ‘Rashmirathi’ (the chariot of light) authored by eminent Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. He also provided the summary of the poem in English.
Hindi Day is celebrated by government agencies and Hindi enthusiasts in India and all over the world on 14th September every year to promote and propagate the use of Hindi in daily life. The date commemorates the day when Hindi was adopted as the Official Language of the Union of India in 1949, YHS said in its press release.
In 1950, the Constitution of India officially adopted Hindi in the Devanagari script as the Official language of India.
The virtual Hindi Day event on September 20th began by a prayer song initiated by Purnima Desai, a Hindi Sangam Foundation trustee.
“Hindi, a major language in the world today, is increasing gaining popularity in USA”, said Upendra Chivukula, chairman of Yuva Hindi Sansthan and a former NJ Assemblyman, who is currently serving as the commissioner of public utilities in New Jersey.
Chivukula reminded the participants that the U.S. government formally recognized Hindi as a critical language for US national security. “It is the duty of all Indian-Americans to learn Hindi which is also the official language of India”, he pointed out.
The event coincided with the launch of Fall Semester 2020 program conducted by Yuva Hindi Sansthan and Hindi Sangam Foundation, its partner organization.
“I want to learn Hindi because I wish to understand it when I visit India and hear people converse in Hindi,” Maya, one of the students, is quoted saying in the press release. Children of mixed marriages also showed their Hindi skills at the event.
“We will conduct our Fall Semester Hindi learning program in 12 sessions”, informed Sanjyot Tatke, lead instructor of the program. “We will focus on conversation but reading and writing will be integral parts of our teaching”, she said. Tatke will be supported by three more teachers, Sandhya, Anju and Seema, (no last names given) for conducting the program.
“We will conduct year round programs to teach Hindi in USA”, said Ashok Ojha, president and program director of YHS Hindi Language and Culture Program. “We want our learners to be proficient in speaking, reading and writing Hindi so they could join future programs conducted by various government agencies, such as, the State Department”, he concluded.