[lg policy] Fiji: USP sets up language committee

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 16 13:42:11 UTC 2009

USP sets up language committee
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

There was a good turnout at USP for the World Hindi Day on Tuesday AN
advisory committee is being set up at the University of the South
Pacific for Hindi and Fijian languages, said vice-chancellor Professor
Rajesh Chandra. He said the USP was trying to maintain both Fijian and
Hindi despite previous low enrolment because of their national
He was speaking at the World Hindi Day celebrations at the USP campus
at Laucala Bay on Monday. Professor Chandra said external reviews
would also be conducted to ensure their high quality. The celebration
was marked with poems and folk music of various genres.

The co-ordinator of the program, Dr Indu Chandra, said the objective
of the function was to promote and propagate Hindi in Fiji. He said
Hindi was becoming popular among the young generation. Dr Chandra, who
was the chief guest of the function, said Hindi and Indian culture
were expanding rapidly as India's trade and international influence
has expanded in past years. "In this age of globalisation, there is a
worry of the possible weakening of Hindi as people speak more and more

He said the day provided an opportunity to create greater awareness
about the Hindi language, Hindi literature and Indian culture in

"The USP Hindi studies program, which started in 1995, has tried to do
this through essay and short story competitions and through oratory

Professor Chandra said the three language policy of the government was
a much needed and extremely important policy that should be strongly

"Unless the two main communities in Fiji can speak each other's
language, understand each other's culture and comprehend each other's
anxieties and aspirations, we will not have a bright future in Fiji,"
the professor said.

He said Indians should be proud that they have retained their language
and culture in Fiji, and were making good progress with Hindi
literature as well.

He said not all countries where Indians have settled, manage to do as well.

He also spoke about Fijian, saying that Fijians were worried about the
weakening of their language and culture.

"It is important for Indo-Fijians to help indigenous Fijians in the
promotion and preservation of their language and culture, he said.

Greater confidence by them in their own future is extremely important
for the future development of Fiji," he said.

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