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ASIA SCENE: Significant moments at Hindi Divas celebrations

By ALLAUDIN QURESHI
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Hindi is the official language of India and is rated as the world’s third largest spoken language. Hindi Divas is an annual day observed on September 14 across the Republic of India and the Indian diaspora as a celebration of the language’s adoption and ratification as the official mode of communication.

It also serves as a patriotic reminder to the Indian population of their common roots and unity in diversity. The auspicious day is also set aside to promote the literary, artistic and creative aspects of the language worldwide and pay tribute to stalwart Beohar Rajendra Simha whose vital contributions to the importance of Hindi to be the official language of the country are highlighted.

Kenbharti Centre, the Kenyan social welfare, cultural and philanthropic organisation, last Friday evening hosted the celebration of this significant Divas at the Indian High Commission Hall in Parklands. An audience of Hindi enthusiasts from all walks of life enjoyed the programme line-up of songs written by local poets.

The evening highlights also included informative discussions about the language and an interesting and literary satisfying Hindi poetry session featuring well known and respected Kenyan muses.

Hindi Divas was a rare opportunity to be in the company of our literary Hindi elites. The audience cherished the romance of Hindi whole heartedly. Kenbharti scored additionally in making the celebration programme rather informal, giving the audience an opportunity to participate in Muhavare and Kahavatein — a lively discussion on Hindi proverbs and idioms. A quiz competition about a literary Hindi masterpiece Godaan and its writer was also organised and the winner awarded a surprise gift.

Kenbharti’s culturally conscious chairman, popular radio presenter Abhijeet Gupta, the founder Kenyan Hindi icon, Dr Abhay Sinha, and the centre’s energetic show committee deserve congratulations for providing a literary and culturally enlightening entertainment while showcasing a true Kenyan spirit of transcending ethnic, racial, religious and cultural borders.

Elsewhere, Sikh Union Club on Forest Road, Nairobi, was yesterday the venue of a unique family fun event — The East 106 Eight-A-side Cricket Tournament.

The premier Asian radio facility East FM’s presenters’ fun-driven, happy-go-lucky teams were entangled in the semi-finals and finals of the competition. Since mid-August, this sporting extravaganza has provided Nairobians with fun and social entertainment for the young and young at heart. Watch out for more details about the winners of this knockout fiesta in this column next Sunday.

Abhaar and Abhinandan — that’s thank you and congratulations in Hindi.