World Hindi Day 2024: Theme, Importance and History
The World Hindi Day also known as Vishva Hindi Diwas is celebrated every year on January 10 with the motive of awareness for propagating and publicizing Hindi language worldwide and representing Hindi as an international language. This day was first, celebrated on January 10, 2006, by the Former Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh to commemorate the first World Hindi Conference held on January 10, 1975, in Nagpur, Maharashtra under the supervision of the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Notably, the concept of World Hindi Conferences was envisaged by Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, Wardha, India in 1973. Since 2006, India’s Foreign Ministry has started the tradition of celebrating World Hindi Diwas in other countries along India to promote the Hindi language globally.
The theme of World Hindi Day 2024:The theme of World Hindi Day 2024 ‘Hindi – Bridging Traditional Knowledge and Artificial Intelligence explains that artificial intelligence is a tool to preserve traditions and languages, digitize cultural heritage, and transcribe the oral history of a language. It is an extended version of the theme of 2023.
Importance of World Hindi Day:
- Hindi has an existence in 150 countries. It is the world’s third most spoken language by a population of 62 crore after English and Mandarin spoken by 113 and 111 crore people respectively.
- Hindi is one of the few languages in the world which is the same spoken as written. That’s why Britishers honored the language with the title ‘Best Phonetic Language’.
- Hindi is taught as a subject in 176 universities across the globe including 45 only in America. This data excludes India.
- More than 25 magazines and newspapers are printed in Hindi on a daily basis. Six Hindi newspapers have grabbed a place in the top 10 most-read newspapers across the globe.
- The English language has accepted numerous Hindi-origin words in their dictionaries like bungalow, jungle, and pajama.
- Content in Hindi language on Google has increased by 94% in the last 7 years which is much more in comparison to any other language. There are more than 10 lakh crore pages on Google in the Hindi language.
History of World Hindi Day
First World Hindi Conference:
- The motto of the first World Hindi Conference was ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’.
- The then Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. Shivsagar Ramgoolam attended the conference as the chief guest.
- It consisted of 122 Hindi scholars, writers, and laureates from about 3 dozen countries.
- A resolution was passed in the conference that Hindi should be given a place as an official language in the United Nations.
After that twelve World Hindi Conferences were held successfully in different parts of the world which promoted the Hindi language among foreigners and increased Indians’ interest in their mother tongue.
Latest (12th) World Hindi Conference:
- The 12th World Hindi Conference was held from 15 to 17 February 2023 in Fiji led by India’s External Affairs Minister Mr. S. Jaishankar.
- The theme of the conference was ‘Hindi – Traditional Knowledge of Artificial Intelligence’
- 1000+ Hindi scholars and laureates from 30 countries participated in the conference.
- The Fiji government agreed to teach Hindi in their schools.
- Theme: ‘Hindi- Traditional Knowledge of Artificial Intelligence.’
Must know about Hindi Language:
- The word Hindi is derived from the word Hindustan, the land of Hind (Indus river).
- The Hindi language is descended from the Sanskrit language, one of the world’s oldest languages.
- Hindi is written in Devanagari script consisting of 11 swar (vowels) and 33 vyanjan (consonants).
- Hindi is a beautiful, flexible, and expressive language having around 16 dialects changing state to state.
- Unlike many other languages including English, there is no difference between spoken and written Hindi.
- It is a tonal language in which the meaning of a word can be changed by changing its tone.
Significance of Hindi for India:
- Hindi is considered as a bindi (a symbol of pride) on the forehead of India (mother India) by Indians.
- In spite of the rich language and cultural diversity in India, Hindi keeps Indians united as it is the mother tongue of 43.6 percent of the population of India and the second or third language of the rest of the population.
- It was the language of many precious Sufi saints like Kabirdas, Tulsidas, and Meerabai and freedom fighters of India like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, and Mahatma Gandhi.
- India doesn’t have any national language due to diversity in languages and dialects but Hindi and English are its official languages.
- Hindi had played an unprecedented role in unifying India during India’s independence struggle.
Celebrating January 10, 2024: Government and non-government organizations conduct various programs like skits, plays, poetry competitions, essay writings, and debates every year to commemorate this day and ignite love for the Hindi language among Indians who are deviating from Western culture. Indian embassies located in different countries escort the propaganda to make the Hindi language bloom internationally.
World Hindi Day Vs National Hindi Day: Many people consider World Hindi Day and National Hindi Day as the same but both are different. National Hindi Day is celebrated on September 14 yearly. This was the day in 1949 when Hindi was accepted as the official language of India.
In summary, 10th January is an important day for Hindi lovers to express their love, emotions, and respect for the language, to collect and cherish all the memories of the language from near and far, and to see their language grow and bloom globally.