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Mauritius to host 11th World Hindi Conference

Mauritius is going to host 11th World Hindi Conference (विश्व हिंदी सम्मेलन) in its capital city Port Lois from August 18-20, 2018. It will be organised by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India in association with Government of Mauritius. The theme of the Conference will be “Vaishvik Hindi Aur Bharatiy Sanskriti“.

Key Facts

The conference is aimed at providing common platform to several Hindi scholars, writers and laureates from different parts of the world to contribute the language. Its venue will be Swami Vivekanand International Convention Centre, Pailles Mauritius. The conference will cover both classical and modern elements of Hindi and will see participation delegates and scholars of Hindi from all over the world.

World Hindi Conference

The World Hindi Conference is major event organised every three years by MEA to increase the popularity of Hindi globally. The first conference was held from 10 to 12 January 1975 in Nagpur, Maharashtra and was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Since then, ten such Conferences have been held in different parts of world. In the first conference, then Prime Minister of Mauritius Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was Chief Guest and it was attended by 122 delegates from 30 countries. In remembrance of the first conference, every year 10th January is being observed as World Hindi Day. The 10 edition of World Hindi Conference was held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (India) in 2015 with the theme of “Hindi Jagat-Vistar and Sambhavnaye”.

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Walmiki and Malhar: 2 unknown languages discovered

Linguist from University of Hyderabad have discovered two endangered languages Walmiki and Malhar predominantly spoken in remote regions of Odisha. They were discovered by Prof Panchanan Mohanty as part of activity of Centre for Endangered Languages and Mother Tongue Studies. The professor had collected some data and did preliminary analysis of these languages and published paper in proceedings of XX Annual Conference of Foundation for Endangered Languages, UK.

Key Facts

Walmiki: It is spoken in district of Koraput of Odisha and on bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is an isolate language and does not belonged to particular family of languages. Its name is interesting and indicative as speech of the community claims to be descent from great Indian saint-poet Valmiki, who is credited to have written one version of epic Ramayana.

Malhar: It is spoken in a remote and isolated hamlet about 165 km away from Bhubaneswar, Odisha.  Now it is spoken by community consisting of about 75 speakers including children. It belongs to “North Dravidian subgroup of Dravidian family of languages. It has close affinities with other North Dravidian languages like Malto and Kurux spoken in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar.

Background

India has been termed sociolinguistic giant and linguists paradise by various scholars across the world.  Though Central government has made effort to document endangered tribal and minor languages, there are many languages which are unknown to world and are waiting to be discovered and documented.

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