Wellington Hindi School lauded for its 30 years of service

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster (second from right), Ethnic Communities Ministry Chief Executive Mervin Singham (third from left) and Indian High Commission Second Secretary (Culture, Information and Media) (back row) with officials, teachers and parents of the Wellington Hindi School at its 30th Anniversary held on September 18, 2022 (Photo Supplied)

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Wellington, September 30, 2022

The Wellington Hindi School celebrated its 30th Anniversary recently, appropriately observing the event on ‘Hindi Divas Day.’

The Indian High Commission hosted the event on September 18, 2022, at its new Complex on Pipitea Street, which was attended by Wellington Mayor Andy Foster, diplomats, officials of government and non-governmental organisations, Health New Zealand, parents, teachers and students of the School.

Ministry of Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Chief Executive Mervin Singham was the Chief Guest.

Collective Voice important

“The collective voice of the people to usher in changes that are beneficial to the country and our communities is vital in a democracy. The inclusion of the languages of our communities in the educational curriculum of the country is an important aspect of public representation. Language is a window to culture,” he said.

Mr Singham said that the Wellington Hindi School provides an opportunity to learn one of the most beautiful languages in the world, Hindi, and through its wonderful lyrical tapestry, understand the ancient and contemporary wisdom of Indian culture.

“When I was growing up in Malaysia, learning our mother tongues was discouraged in many families for the fear that it would set us back. Today, the world has changed. We know our interconnectedness across the globe is critical to our well-being and prosperity. Proficiency in other languages beyond English supports us to build cross-cultural bridges which are critical to our future. It also enriches our social and cultural lives,” Mr Singham said.

Wellington Hindi School Operations Manager Sunita Narayan speaking at the Wellington High School 30th Anniversary on September 18, 2022 (Photo Supplied)

Language connects Culture

Dilesh Prakash, a former student, delivered his Keynote address in which he cited the importance of learning Hindi and it enabled him to understand and appreciate his culture.

Rahini Uniyaal and Dr Del Carlini spoke about Covid-19 and how it was managed in New Zealand, as a part of the ethnic communities’ engagement with Health New Zealand.

Among the highlights of the event were the performances of teachers, students and parents.

Wellington Hindi School Chairperson Kashmir Kaur outlined the progress of the School over the past three decades, while Operations Manager Sunita Narayan facilitated the awards segment.

Adwick Gosh and Arnav Singh, two students were the Master of Ceremonies.

“It is a pleasure and privilege to be involved with the 30th Anniversary of the School. I was not born then. I have learnt that the Wellington Hindi School has been a key leader in the public submission to the government’s ‘Strengthening Languages Bill.’ I remember delivering an oral submission at a Select Committee Meeting in Parliament,” he said.

Children of the Wellington Hindi School performing at the 30th Anniversary on September 18, 2022 (Photo Supplied)

About the Wellington Hindi School

Run by volunteers and managed with a modest budget, the Wellington Hindi School began with a few students in a family lounge in 1992.

Today, it runs face-to-face in three locations across the Wellington region, including  Wellington City, Lower Hutt City and Newlands.

In 2012, the School celebrated Holi, the Festival of Colours as a cross-cultural event in Wellington.

In 2018, the School started Online Hindi classes for senior students, reportedly the first Hindi School in the country to do so. It became a propitious decision because the classes were not interrupted during the Covid-19 shutdown periods in 2020 and 2021.

Teachers developed packages that parents could use themselves in their homes, and these were shared with several other Hindi schools across New Zealand. In 2020, the School contributed to the Hindi Teacher development framework and pathway for New Zealand.

Last year, Hindi classes were set up in two mainstream schools in the Wellington region.

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