The Indian community in New Zealand’s southernmost city Invercargill is all set to get the first Hindi Language School in February.

Himani Mishra Galbraith, an early childhood teacher, who has been living and working in Invercargill for more than a decade, is taking upon herself the task of opening the first Hindi language school in the southernmost city of NZ.

“We have a small size of community here in Southland with families often living in an isolated environment with limited opportunities of interacting in their own language,” Mrs Galbraith told the Indian Weekender while explaining the urge for starting this new school.

“I have observed closely as a teacher and Whanau worker that how children from migrant communities miss out from connecting with their roots and heritage,” Ms Galbraith said.

 “I have seen parents longing to teach their children Hindi so that they can communicate with their grandparents in their own language,” Ms Galbraith said.

Interestingly, the school will have the unique reputation of being the southernmost school of Hindi language in the entire Commonwealth (a group of 53 nations, nearly all of them were formerly part of the British Empire). 

Speaking further about her passion for Hindi language, Ms Galbraith said, “The Hindi language is my genes as I belong to the family of well-known Hindi educationists back in India.

“My maternal grandfather Jagdish Bhagwati was awarded the Padmashree Samman by the Indian government, and my mother was post graduate in Sanskrit language(Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years, and widely accepted as the literary language of Hinduism, with predominant works of Hindu philosophy being done in this language).

“The Hindi language is in my genes, and I am committed to working for the language, especially with the kids,” Ms Galbraith said.

“I was a trained teacher back in India and have taught in schools and colleges before coming to NZ. So imparting education is something that I really enjoy,” Ms Galbraith said.

A formal launch ceremony of the new school is scheduled to be organised on Thursday, February 7, at a local Indian restaurant, with regular classes starting from Saturday, February 9 at the Waihopi School. 

“The launch ceremony is open for all as long as we can be informed beforehand,” an excited Ms Galbraith told the Indian Weekender.

Wellington-based Hindi educationist and the founder Director of the Wellington Hindi School, Sunita Narayan, is providing guidance and support to this upcoming school regarding curriculum and other educational resources.

All Hindi language enthusiasts in Southland are encouraged to contact Ms Galbraith directly on 0221220648.