As India seeks greater trade with Israel it also looks to promote its native Language in the Jewish State.
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During the World Hindi Day celebration at Tel Aviv University, Indian businessmen visiting in Israel announced that they were donating $33, 000 to promote the study of Hindi in Israel. The diamond merchants will provide grants to Israeli students of Hindi to travel to India and improve their speech in the language.
One of the members of the Indian diamond delegation to the event in Tel Aviv, Ranjit Barmeja, said, “It is a matter of pride for us to see so many people learning our national language in Israel and to see such enthusiasm for Indian culture. It is an effort from our side to promote a resurgent India in Israel. We have been living here since 1980s, before the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and we hope this contribution will help in strengthening our bilateral ties.”
Professor Eyal Zisser, Tel Aviv University’s dean of the humanities has announced that the school will be establishing a fund that will also help pay for Israeli students of Hindi to travel to India. The fund will be managed by its department of East Asian Studies.
Sponsored by the Indian Embassy in Israel in cooperation with the Hindi Division of East Asia Department of the Tel Aviv University, the annual World Hindi Day was celebrated at the school on June 1. The celebration began with Sanskrit Mantras by students, which was followed by a keynote address from India’s Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar. The attendees also sang Bollywood songs, performed scenes from Indian Hindi language movies and enacted a Hindi version of the Hebrew play Eliezer’s Carrot.
Approximately 150 people, including the UNDOF Force Commander Maj Gen I S Singha, TAU students and faculty, Indian diplomats and others interested in Hindi and Indian studies attended the event. The celebration concluded with a classical Indian music performance by Benny Djubass on the Sitar and Daniel White on a Tabla, and a meal of Indian cuisine.
Sarkar told the audience, “Foreign companies working in India have started to advertise now in Hindi as they have understood that they can touch the hearts of 100 crore Indians only through Hindi. Those who know Hindi do have an edge while doing business in India.”
The Ambassador also commended the students for their efforts to learn Hindi, as well as Dr Genady Shlomper for his commitment to teaching Hindi at TAU. On Shlomper Sarkar said, “he has been the flag bearer of Hindi language for decades here and served wholeheartedly and selflessly towards the promotion of the language.”
Professor Shlomper is known for promoting the addition of Hindi as an official language at the UN and was honored by the Indian government at the 8th World Hindi Conference in 2007 in New York for popularizing the language in Israel.
Trade between Israel and India has been growing for many years now. Currently there is an estimated $5 billion in trade between the two nations, half of which comes from agriculture and diamonds. Indian companies have been looking to expand their relationships with the Israeli high tech sector for some and the expansion of educating Israelis in the Hindi language will certainly aid this goal.
More than thirty Indian companies took part in the 2014 Israel Innovation Conference will held in Tel Aviv last month.