The Hindi Sangam Foundation of USA celebrated International Hindi Day at the Consulate of India in New York on Saturday, January 13th. The Hindi Conference is part of a series of initiatives undertaken by the Consulate for promotion of Hindi language in the coming year.
“There is a great need to build capacity for the teaching of Hindi in the USA where most Hindi teachers lack formal teacher’s training to teach Hindi to 21st century digital learners”, Professor Janis Jensen, the director of STARTALK projects at Kean University, said. Professor Janis Jensen was the keynote speaker at the Hindi Diwas event.
Jensen was concerned about the quality of the Hindi language teachers at the university and requested India’s Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty as well as the Indian-American community to support the Masters’ Program in Hindi pedagogy at Kean University. This master’s program, Jensen said, is the only program which prepares people to teach Hindi at schools and prepare for doctoral programs.
Chakravorty assured Jensen he would extend all possible support to keep the program running. He also emphasized the significance of the Hindi language adding, “it is high time that we supplement our talk to support the Hindi language and start acting on supporting meaningful teaching of the Hindi language and other learning programs outside of India.” He promised those present of support from the Government of India for such efforts.
Dr. Jennifer Eddy, presented information on the New York State Teacher Certification program for teaching the Hindi language in grades 7-12 and said that the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Critical Languages Education program, which is offered at Queens College, is willing to teach Hindi since there are many Indian-Americans living in Queens.
Also at the celebration, Ria Dadheech performed to the song “Ghoomar” from the upcoming film Padmaavat and recited the popular poem titled “Jhansi Ki Rani.” Other students representing Educators Society for the Heritage of India, Hindi USA and the Hindi Sangam Foundation STARTALK program also performed at the celebration.
The event was organized by Ashok Ojha, the president of Yuva Hindi Sansthan and Hindi Sangam Foundation and the program director of YHS and the Sangam-Franklin STARTALK Hindi Language and Culture Program 2017, who also announced that the Fifth International Hindi Conference will take place in September, this year.
In the past years Consulate General of India hosted a number of Hindi conferences, notably the third International Hindi Conference held in May 2016, which was attended by dozens of language experts associated with various US universities including Columbia, NYU, UCLA and UT Austin. In 2014 and 2015 the consulate collaborated with Hindi Sangam Foundation and the New York University and Rutgers University, NJ to organize the first and second International Hindi Conferences at the respective university campuses.