Vishwa Hindi Diwas:World Hindi Day celebrated in New York and around the U.S.

Youth from the tri-state area performing a dance on World Hindi Day, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Indian Consulate in New York. Photo: Facebook @IndiainNewYork

The World Hindi Day 2023 was celebrated by the Indian Consulate in New York January 14, 2023, in collaboration with many Hindi organizations dedicated to promoting the language. There were several cultural activities promoting Hindi. The program included a dance performance by Indian-American youth.

World Hindi Day is celebrated by the Consulate every year in January to commemorate the anniversary of Hindi being spoken in the United Nations General Assembly first in 1949. A special theme is decided upon as the focus of the activities of the celebration.

The day is also celebrated by the Indian government offices, embassies, consulates and cultural centers around the world in many different countries including Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Romania and more. This year the main conference was scheduled to be held in Fiji Jan. 15-17, and the main theme in 2023 is ‘Hindi: Traditional Knowledge to Artificial Intelligence’.

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World Hindi Day (Vishwa Hindi Diwas) is being celebrated since 2006 and marks the anniversary of Hindi being spoken at the United Nations General Assembly first in 1949. Today, Hindi is one of the four most widely spoken languages in the world, with close to 600 million people speaking it in different countries, comprising a huge Hindi speaking diaspora.

This year’s World Hindi Day theme “to make Hindi a part of public opinion, although it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to leave their mother tongue” aims at promoting Hindi languages globally. It lays equal emphasis on one’s mother tongue which does not have to take a back seat while using Hindi.

A section of the audience at the Jan. 14, 2023, World Hindi Day celebration at the Indian Consulate in New York. Photo: Facebook @IndianinNewYork

More than a hundred people celebrated World Hindi Day event at the Indian Consulate in New York. The celebration was held in collaboration with many local organizations. Consul General Randhir Jaiswal spoke at the event which began with the reading of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message.

In his message, Modi commended the programs hosted by the consulates, cultural centers and offices of India around the world. “It is said that ‘Bhasha Vishwam yojayti’, meaning language joins the world,” the message said. The message also noted how Hindi has played an important role in spreading Indian culture through various platforms in today’s world of technology.

India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, speaking at the Jan. 14, 2023 World Hindi Day celebrations. Photo: Facebook @IndiainNewYork

India is mother to many languages and cultures, inspiring Indians constantly with this rich heritage, the Prime Minister said. The importance of Hindi is two-fold: that of spreading our cultural heritage and that of fostering international brotherhood, the message said. The World Hindi Day gives us an opportunity to understand the importance of Hindi as the language of expression and to celebrate it, said the Prime Minister, expressing the hope that Hindi lovers would use Hindi on the World Hindi Day and contribute in making it an integral part of the future generations of people of Indian descent.

New York Consulate regularly organizes special celebrations on the day. Its special celebration in 2022 was attended by many Hindi scholars and professionals. Consul General Randhir Jaiswal had pledged the support of his office to promote Hindi and other Indian languages.

Attendees listening to the Indian Consul General in New York on World Hindi Day celebrations held at the Indian Consulate Jan. 14, 2023. Photo: Facebook @IndiainNewYork

One of the initiatives of the office of the New York Consul General has been the publication of an online literary magazine ‘Ananya’, with noted Hindi language poet Anoop Bhargava as the managing editor. ‘Ananya’ is now published in Russia, Australia, Kenya and Tanzania, bringint the literature of these countries in Hindi. The New York Consulate has also been supporting various organizations including Hindi Sangam Foundation and Shikshyatan, a New York-based cultural organization which also organizes International Hindi Conferences since 2014. Another organization supported by the Consulate is the Yuva Hindi Sansthan with Ashok Ojha as president. Yuva Hindi Sansthan was awarded the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad by the U.S. Department of education to conduct a 4-week Study Tour in India.

World Hindi Day in San Francisco

The Consulate General of San Francisco, and Consul General Dr. T. V. Nagendra Prasad Rao celebrated World Hindi Day on the evening of January 15, 2023. Professor Nilu Gupta, recipient of Pravasi Bharatiya Sanman 2021, was the chief guest. The program was in collaboration with Hamari Bhasha Hindi organization and was broadcast live. Las Vegas, Nevada also joined the program.

In-keeping with the theme of the Hindi Sammelan scheduled to be held in February, the program began with the virtual lighting of the lamp with help of a computer and Saraswati Vandana by Trusha Verma. Consul General Rao read the special message Prime Minister Modi sent. Other speakers at the event included Dr. Jagdish Vyom, Manju Mishra who read a poem, 8 year-old Sonika Gupta who read the Gayatri Mantra, and 7-year old Smit Shimpi who sang a children’s Hindi film song. Many more children performed during the evening.

World Hindi Day in Chicago

The Consulate general of Chicago also held a variety of cultural activities to celebrate the day, along with the reading of Prime Minister Modi’s message.

Many Indian embassies and cultural centers around the world organized cultural programs to celebrate World Hindi Day. These programs included dance performances, music concerts, and plays that showcase the rich cultural heritage of India. They held seminars, debates, quiz and speech competitions to promote Hindi language, and online events.

In India, the World Hindi Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm, with debates, elocution contests, and seminars in schools and colleges. Film festivals, drama competitions and classical music shows were also part of the day’s celebration.

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