The Indiana Chapter of the International Hindi Association (IHA) marked a significant milestone with its 21st Biennial Convention, held on July 28-29, 2023, in Carmel, Indiana. Under the esteemed leadership of Dr. Rakesh Kumar, this convention emerged as a beacon for the promotion of Hindi education, drawing participants from across the United States and beyond. In partnership with the Consulate General of India, the event proved to be an enlightening and entertaining experience for attendees of all ages.
Guided by the theme “Hindi Education for the Next Generation,” the convention focused on active youth engagement, with young volunteers playing a pivotal role in organizing and hosting the event. A diverse array of activities, including introductions of presenters, dignitaries, and poets, captured the enthusiasm and participation of the attendees.
The convention garnered distinguished guests, with the Consul General, Somnath Ghosh, serving as the Chief Guest, and Mr. Diego Morales, Indiana Secretary of State, attending as the Guest of Honor. A diverse and dynamic gathering of over 350 individuals, including five Hindi professors from India, seven professors from US universities, and approximately 40 Hindi activists, contributed to the rich discourse of the event.
The Consul General seized the opportunity to express gratitude to participants from both India and various parts of the United States, offering insights into the Indian government’s language promotion policies. He advocated for initiatives to facilitate the teaching of Hindi in local schools and universities, the development of language-learning apps, and other avenues to bolster language retention.
A noteworthy aspect of this year’s convention was the involvement of middle and high school students who took on the role of emcees for various sessions, bridging generational gaps and infusing the event with youthful energy. Students from different states of the US also found representation among the participants.
The convention featured a Kavi Sammelan on July 29th, a poetic gathering graced by distinguished poets including Col. (Retd) V.P. Singh, renowned for his service in the Indian Army, and eminent poets Dr. Sarita Sharma, Mr. Sudeep Bhola, and Mr. Gaurav Sharma. The event also showcased artistic performances by Ms. Mamta Ahar and Dr. Anuradha Dubey, who treated the audience to mesmerizing Hindi drama and Kathak dance.
The convention’s educational thrust was amplified through presentations by Hindi language scholars and educators from the US, India, Mexico, and Pakistan. The prominent Hindi professor Dr. Mithilesh Mishra led the proceedings with his lecture on “Issues in Maintenance of Hindi in the American Diaspora,” spotlighting the progress of Hindi education while acknowledging the need for further expansion.
The convention encapsulated a range of topics, such as the role of grandparents in transmitting cultural heritage, online tools for learning Hindi, challenges in introducing Hindi in American schools, and the essence of Hindi in personality development.
As the 21st Biennial Convention concluded, the discussions held and the pledges made illuminated a shared commitment to propagate the richness of the Hindi language. This event not only celebrated the achievements of the past but also sowed the seeds for an even more vibrant future for Hindi education.
Learn more at www.iha-indiana.org.