Language cuts across geographical boundaries and transcends across human emotions. Language has the ability to restrain as well as liberate. Language is the most important tool of communication, mobilization and congregation. The French Revolution and The Indian Struggle for Independence bear testimony to the fact that holding on to its language enables a community to possess the key to its own liberation; its own prison. However, in the modern context language has acquired a new dimension. It serves a greater purpose. It not only binds communities of one state or nation together but also connects people from across the trails of the globe. India’s official language ‘Hindi’ is progressing boundlessly and is rapidly spreading overseas with over 6.5 lac speakers of Hindi in the U.S. alone. The widespread appeal of Hindi among the masses has led to its soaring demand. Hindi also boasts of being one of the most ancient languages of human civilization. Without any doubt, this easy, attractive and alluring language is carving a niche for itself in the American land slowly, but steadily. I present to you the
10 reasons why Hindi is increasingly gaining popularity in the United States of America…
10. Tracing the Roots
Often, Indians who live away from the country are more ‘Indian’ than those at home. Somewhere deep inside the core of their hearts, they long to be attached to their Indian roots. This craving makes them nurture the Indian culture despite being in a faraway land. Food preferences, family ties, festivities, lifestyle and their way of thinking, all unknowingly reflect their Indian origin. The need to belong to their homeland also cultivates in them a desire to speak and learn Hindi and other regional Indian languages. Indian American parents often hire tutors who can teach Hindi to their American born children and engage them in Indian culture and traditions. They do not want their progeny to forget about their home land completely. Nearly 6.5 lac people in the U.S. speak Hindi, while over 8 lac people speak various regional Indian languages.
9. India- An Investment Destination
Undoubtedly, U.S.A. offers a plethora of opportunities to its citizens but with the gradual shift in focus towards the third world countries, the tables have turned. India is emerging as a superpower and has proven to be a great investment destination for the U.S. in the past few years. There has been an upward trend in the number of Americans learning Hindi, thanks to the increasing importance of India globally. In a first of its kind initiative, U.S. president George W. Bush had launched a plan to dramatically increase the number of Americans learning foreign languages including Hindi. This has significantly soared up the demand for Hindi teachers in the United States. India’s robust economic relationship with America has also triggered the need to learn Hindi for the Americans. American students prefer to train in Hindi as the language gives them a cutting edge in the private enterprises owing to their exposure to India and Hindi. Prior knowledge of Hindi also opens up Indian markets for the U.S. in order to pursue flourishing trade and commerce with India.
8. Alluring Foreign Services Aspirants
Hindi allures Foreign Services Aspirants. Several Foreign Services aspirants in the U.S. make back breaking efforts to learn Hindi because doing so gains them brownie points in the U.S. Foreign Services Exam. Also, the knowledge of languages such as Hindi and Urdu give FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) or CIA (Central Investigative Agency) aspirants a kick start.
7. Cross-Country Marriages
Cross-country marriages have played a meaningful role in the blossoming of Hindi as a global language. More and more Indians are marrying Americans which boosts the usage of Hindi out there in the United States. Love letters in Hindi are written by Americans to woo their Indian counterparts. Moreover, detailed knowledge of the language helps you in conversing with your spouse’s parents and other relatives back home efficiently. After all, you certainly do not want to feel left out when your partner is visiting his or her parents or other family members.
6. Love for Exploration
Since a very long time, India has been the preferred destination for scholars, journalists and researchers from around the world to explore and experience fresh occurrences and happenings. A majority of the journalists and reporters love to do street reporting in India. Reporting in rural India with its relatively pristine beauty intact is also cherished by foreign reporters. However, at times the language barrier creates a wide gulf between the native population and the foreigners. Therefore, cognizance of Hindi can facilitate a journalist in carrying out his job meticulously. In addition to this, many foreigners visit India for holidaying in order to enjoy its aesthetic beauty. India’s constantly flourishing tourist industry bears testimony to this well known fact. Language barriers can often hamper such trips and make them less enjoyable. Therefore, it is very rightly advised to learn a country’s language before visiting it.
5. Exposure through Bollywood
If there is one thing that never ceases to attract the residents of the United States, it is Bollywood. Bollywood has left an indelible impression on its followers. Many young Americans have the desire to learn Hindi only to be able to understand what their favorite actors speak on-screen without having to read the subtitles. Popular culture plays an important role in defining the major spheres in which Hindi is spoken. Interesting!
4. Interaction with Peers
The Indian community forms a size able portion of the American population. It is often said that every fourth face in New York City is an Indian. Needless to say, Americans encounter Indians on a day-to-day basis. These two communities work together, play together, party together, hang out together and study together. Due to such daily exchanges, the wide gap created due to language barriers automatically shrinks. Exchange of cultures, traditions and languages between the two communities has consequently increased the Hindi speaking population in America.
3. The role of Television
Also, the role of T.V. series in promoting Indian culture in America cannot be neglected. Hindi films, T.V., and music have become well known in America thus making Hindi popular. Large number of Americans follow Indian T.V. shows regularly if not on T.V. then on the internet. You tube is a platform where daily soaps can be watched irrespective of their on-air timings. A country’s media depicts its culture quite perfectly without misleading the facts. Media has been instrumental in stretching out Indian culture to diverse and distant tracts of land.
2. Desire to be Multilingual
In modern times, the branch of Linguistics has developed from a fragile stone to a rigid mountain. Its growth has been traced down by renowned researchers and language specialists. People are increasingly learning new and different languages for that extra bonus point in the competitive world. Being multilingual can enhance a person’s opportunities in the corporate world by manifolds. Linguistics, as a branch of study has manifested itself into a pillar of success. Knowledge of a variety of languages can guarantee you easy money and job opportunities in the form of translators, interpreters and research analysts. Due to the strong economic relationship of U.S.A. with India, Hindi is the preferred choice for most of the Americans.
1. Harnessing Knowledge
Multitudes of ancient texts have been written in Hindi and Sanskrit as these are the oldest known languages that human civilization can boast of. Wisdom and knowledge of ancient sages and scholars is preserved in scriptures, texts and Vedas originally written in Sanskrit and Hindi. If not for Hindi, we would have never been able to harness the vast reserves of knowledge that our fore fathers penned down for our benefit. Knowledge of Hindi makes us the beneficiaries of an ancient resource which is invaluable. So, how can the Americans afford to be devoid of such an enormous abyss of enlightenment?