The celebrations for the Hindi Language Week organised by the Hindi Language and Culture Trust kick-started with a colourful cultural program in Papatoetoe High School on Friday, September 7, and a plea by Minister for Ethnic Communities to participate in government’s education consultation.

The Minister for Ethnic Communities, and Associate Minister for Education, Jenny Salesa speaking on occasion urged all ethnic migrant communities, and in particular, the Indian community to engage with the government’s currently ongoing education consultation wherein views of ethnic communities are being sought to improve New Zealand education system.

“I am here not only as your local MP but also as Minister for Ethnic Communities and Associate Minister for Education.

“In May this year, the Education Minister Chris Hipkins has launched Korero Matauranga - Education Conversation.

“The first summit was held in Christchurch and the second one was held in Auckland.

“There is also an online survey which is still open.

“It’s my plea to all students, parents, guardians, teachers, and especially those who want to see more Hindi language in NZ curriculum to please participate in the survey.

“When we had those two summits earlier this year then we had a very few online submissions from both the Chinese and the Indian community.

“I had made a commitment to myself and the Minister for Education that as the Minister for Ethnic Communities I will be going more often to talk to our ethnic communities and engage in conversations around education.

“One such education consultation will be held tomorrow [Sunday, September 9] at Wesley Community Centre, Sandringham and I invite you all to come along and share your views on how should we shape the future of education in Aotearoa,” Ms Jalesa said.

The other dignitaries who attended the event were National Party MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Labour Party MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Judge Ajit Swaran Singh, President New Zealand Indian Central Association, Bhikhu Bhana, members of Fire service and New Zealand Police, representatives of Fiji Girmit Foundation New Zealand, Waitakere Hindi School,  and Telangana Association of New Zealand.

Colourful Cultural Program

The cultural evening of Hindi Language week celebrations was full of colourful and energetic performances from the school going children. There were dances on popular Bollywood numbers, skits, and speeches which entertained the captive audience.

The play, the speeches, and other performances were delivered in Hindi language and reflected the Indian culture – the two primary objectives of the Hindi Language and Culture Trust’s activities.

Towards the end of the event, dinner was served to all guests and members of the public attending the event.

Hindi Language Week celebrations – A work in progress

Meanwhile speaking on the occasion the Satya Dutt, President, Hindi Language and Culture Trust reiterated that the celebration of Hindi Language Week was a work in progress.

“We had started this celebration in Aotearoa in 2011 to coincide with the global celebrations of Hindi Diwas on September 14.

“The core objective of the celebration is to bring awareness for the importance of learning and teaching of Hindi language.

“This year for the first time since we began our celebrations, Hindi Language found a mention in the Education Gazette of New Zealand,” Mr Dutt Said.

The Education Gazette - Tukutuku Korero - is produced by the Ministry of Education for teachers, leaders and other education professionals working in New Zealand.

On August 27, the Education Gazette editors brought out a story Bringing mahi tahi into Hindi Language Week which showcased how a local school in Auckland, Royal Oak Intermediate, is promoting Hindi language week celebrations.

“Hindi Language Week is one of many opportunities schools have, to celebrate diversity. For Royal Oak Intermediate, it is also a chance to further explore their schoolwide theme for the year,” the story in education gazette said.

“The school’s theme for this year is mahi tahi, or working together as one. One of the ways in which students are exploring this concept is by learning about the different cultures within their school and about different languages spoken by members of their school community,” the story in education gazette further added.

Meanwhile, Mr Dutt also sought feedback from those attending the event about the dates of next year’s Hindi language week celebrations, as the current dates also coincide with two other language week celebrations in New Zealand – Tongan and Te Reo Maori.