Hindi Divas is celebrated across India on 14 September every year. On this day in 1949, Hindi was adopted as the official language of India; a decision ratified the following year in our Constitution. And while India now has 22 official languages, Hindi and English are the only two official languages used by our Union government.
At B.D. Somani, we believe Hindi is special. The richness of the language, intertwined with its cultural and historical significance, give Hindi a truly special place among world languages. Works by writers like Premchand, Harivanshrai Bachchan, Krishna Sobti, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar inspire and move people all over the world.
While Hindi Divas is celebrated across the country, we celebrate it in our unique way. The school takes on a festive air, with everybody coming to school in traditional clothes. The whole school is a riot of colours, and you see everyone from Reception to Grade 12 dressed to the nines, including the teachers and the staff.
This year, our day started with assembly for the Primary school, where our Head of Primary, Ms Zoë L. Hauser, addressed the school with a few words in Hindi. All Primary school grades took turns singing Hindi songs at the assembly, accompanied by our music teachers. They wrapped it up with a soaring rendition of our national anthem. There is nothing more thrilling or emotional than the voices of children singing Tagore’s beautiful words. There were photographs taken of each class to commemorate the day before everyone dispersed to their respective classrooms.
Throughout the day, students and teachers conversed in Hindi as much as possible, played games in Hindi that students devised and parents and support staff read stories and poems in Hindi.
In the afternoon, we had a Hindi Divas celebration for the Secondary school where our students performed plays and skits in Hindi, led by our Hindi department and with the help of our Drama department. Kicking off our Secondary school program was our Secondary school Principal, Mr Don Gardner, who introduced the assembled students and teachers to many English words that have their genesis in Hindi, including loot, thug, nabob, shampoo, bungalow and mulligatawny.
In these digital times, where we are bombarded by and absorb numerous influences from cultures all over the world, Hindi helps us to stay tethered to our heritage. We celebrate Hindi Divas to acknowledge our appreciation for this rich and glorious language.
However, Hindi Divas does not end with our celebrations in school. We encourage all our B.D. Somani parents too to join us in celebrating Hindi by helping our students infuse Hindi into their daily lives. Here are some ideas you can try. Pick days on which you only speak in Hindi at home. Read books by Hindi writers together. If your child is young, read to them. If they’re older read the book and discuss it over dinner. Start a Hindi project where you translate songs and stories into Hindi. You can start with a plan for at least one song or story every month. Continued and persistent use of Hindi at home will allow our students to practise and improve their Hindi vocabulary and diction and will also familiarise them more with our rich and varied cultural heritage. After all it takes a village to keep a heritage alive.