Recently I have started tutoring Hindi language to an Austrian who wishes to travel to India. I have taught Hindi to several Austrians who have been fascinated by India and are interested in learning about the different culture. The first time when I was asked if I could teach Hindi, I was taken aback and my immediate reaction was ‘why do you want to learn Hindi?’ In India we generally take Hindi for granted and since Indians speak English when dealing with foreigners, I never thought any foreigner would be interested in learning Hindi.
Thanks to Bollywood, people living in the other part of the world have become curious to discover the mysteries of India and they believe that learning the language which is most widely spoken in the country would be the best way to get an insight into the culture of that country.
In Austria, the bollywood movie ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ was a big hit. In spite of the movie being three and a half hours long, people loved it because it was a visual treat and had tons of emotions. Karan Johar, the movie director, is known for carefully packaging and selling emotions in all his movies. The dazzling costumes, festival celebrations and dances gave the additional flavour to the movie. It was different, said my Hindi student. He explained that the movie was popular in Austria because it made viewers laugh, cry, dance and smile which no Hollywood movie has ever done.
It’s quite an experience to teach Hindi and explain them about Indian customs, traditions and rituals. I am glad I have an opportunity to talk about my country and feel proud about its richness.