October 13-15, 2014
“The interest in Hindi learning in Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) was, is and remains forever”
The International Research and Practical Conference “Hindi Mahotsav” and Days of Indian Culture were hold at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) on October 13-15, 2014.
There are several reasons for holding such event. They were: to involve scientific communities into the process of study Hindi language and literature and to integrate them within this process, to develop ties with leading educational and scientific centres for South Asian studies in Russia, CIS countries and abroad, and to familiarize RSUH students and teachers with the national Indian rules and traditions.
The International Academic Centre for South Asian Studies of the RSUH, the Department for International Area Studies and Foreign Policy of the Institute of History and Archives, the Department of oriental Languages of the Linguistics Institute of the RSUH, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre of Indian Embassy in Moscow were the organisers of the event.
Prof Efim I. Pivovar, rector of RSUH, D-r of History and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prof Alexander B. Bezborodov, academic director, D-r of History, and Anna G. Matveeva, associate rector for international relations, PhD (history), actively supported the idea of holding the conference and days of Indian culture at RSUH.
The organizing committee was represents by next departments: Dr. Olga Pavlenko, Head of the Department of International Relations and regional studies; Dr. Alexander Stolyarov, Director of International Center of South Asian studies, Dr. Indira Gazieva, Hindi teacher of the Oriental Department of the Institute of linguistics, Irina Baskakova, teacher of the Department of International Relations and regional studies.
Officials of the Indian Embassy in Moscow had made great efforts for organising International Research and Practical Hindi Conference and Days of Indian Culture at RSUH. They were: Mr. Sandeep Arya, Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Sanjay Vedi, Acting director, Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre, Dr. Gulab Singh, Hindi teacher, Visiting professor of Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre, Mr. Anil Janvijay, poet, translator of the International News Agency “Russia Today”, he is also a Hindi teacher of the Department of Indian philology of the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University (IAAS, MSU), Mr. Arvind Kumar Dixit, Counsellor of the Department of Defence Technology, Indian Embassy in Moscow, Mr. Anjani Kumar Das, President of non-commercial social-cultural organisation OBA (Bihar association in Moscow).
The event was carried out in the frames of implementing the basic idea of RSUH – “Education through Art”. Hindi Conference was coincided with the Hindi day that is annually celebrated on September, 14 in the Republic of India as well as in the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre of the Indian Embassy in Moscow.
The Opening Session of the conference was inaugurated at 11:00 on October 13, 2014 at the Academic Board hall of RSUH. Inaugural speeches of Prof Efim Pivovar, Rector of RSUH, His Excellency Mr. Pundi Shrinivasan Raghavan, Ambassador of India Republic in the Russian Federation, and of the honourable guests of the Conference were the important part of its inauguration Program.
The conference was opened by Dr. Anna Matveeva, Assistant Rector for International Study Centre, prof. Alexander Bezborodov, Pro-Rector for Academic Affairs, prof. Vera Zabotkina, Pro-Rector for innovative international projects.
His Excellency Mr. PS Raghavan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to the Russian Federation, in his welcoming speech had stressed about the importance of this event in the light of progressive cooperation in culture and education between our two countries.
His Excellency Mr. Alexander M. Kadakin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in India sent a video greeting to the guests and participants of the conference.
Mrs. Suniti Sharma, Director of Department of Hindi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India noted the importance of this meeting at Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH). She said that Hindi language is very popular among Russian students and CIS countries’ students, who are getting education in various specializations.
An outstanding Russian Academician Eugene Chelyshev (94 years old) made his welcoming speech also in Hindi and told the participants and conference’ guests about the history of studying Hindi literature and Hindi in former Soviet Union.
He pointed that students studied Indian language at the universities and schools with pleasure before and they were very happy to study it. But due to reduction of the population in Russia became few and students wishing to learn Hindi and other Indian languages also decreased. He hoped that in the near future because of the expansion of organizations such as the BRICS and SCO many students will come to study Hindi.
Boris A. Zakhar'in, Distinguished Professor the Moscow State University, Head of the Department of Indian Philology told about learning Hindi in Russia and increasing interest in Hindi among students of Moscow State University.
On behalf of Department Asia (2DA) of the Russian Ministry of international affairs will represent Ms. Ekaterina Semenova, Second Secretary.
Aleksey Drozzin who represented Moscow House of nationalities read the welcoming address by Nikolai Komarov, the Director of Moscow House of nationalities.
Professor Girishvar Mishra, Rector of the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGAV, Wardha) in his welcoming speech told that Hindi is still spreading across all countries of the world. He also talked about learning Hindi at MGAV. After the event the Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the RSUH and MGAV.
At the end of the welcoming speeches, His Excellency P.S. Raghavan, Indian Ambassador to the Russian Federation was introduced to the Russian translation of the Hindi book "Flowers of the neem tree" by famous Indian poet Kunvar Narayan, whose poems are translated in many European languages, and now in Russian. IAAS, MSU teachers Associate Prof PhD Guzel Strelkova and Associate Prof research associate PhD Anastasia Guriya have translated this book from Hindi into Russian, and published it.
Kunvar Narayan (b. 1927) is one of the most famous poets of modern India, laureate of a lot of National and International prises in literature, including “Jnanpith”, which is sometimes called Indian Nobel Prise in literature.
There are more than 100 poems included in the book “Flowers of Nim Tree” by Kunvar Narayan. There are also annotation comments, concluding remarks and supplementary Index of Hindi poems – for those who wants be acquainted with the original. While translating into Russian Guzel Strelkova and Anastasia Guriya made their best for reproducing the original form as close as possible. Thus vers libre is translated as vers libre, in rhymed and rhythmic fragments rhyme and rhythm are saved with maximum closeness. Young artist Ekaterina Borodacheva drew the cover for the book.
Organising Committee had invited representatives of Indian business firms accredited in Moscow, famous Russian indologists, and Russian Foreign ministry responsible executives to take part in the inauguration ceremony. Among the honourable guests there were such persons as Dr. Rameshwar Singh, the founder and President of the Russian-India Friendship society “DISHA”; Dr. Kashmir Singh, Indian Association “Hindustani Samaj”, Ms. Chelam Prasad, Air India Director in Russia.
Thirty Hindi teachers and fifty students of Moscow educational institutions took part in Hindi conference.
The Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow state university represented the following Hindi teachers: Associate prof Liudmila V. Khokhlova; Associate prof Guzel V. Strelkova; Associate prof EkaterinaV. Panina; Dr. A.G. Guriya; Anil Janvijay.
The Russian state university for the humanities represented Indira A. Gazieva, associate professor, Svetlana A. Mikoyan and Ekaterina L. Komissaruk Hindi teacher.
Moscow state university of international relations represented the following Hindi teachers: Associate prof Klara U. Dryukova, Associate prof Alexander A. Sigorsky, Olga A. Maltseva, Maria D. Alexandrova.
Dr. Safarmo Tolibi, Hindi teacher of boarding-school No 19 with in-depth study of some disciplines (Hindi); Dr. Barno S. Avezova, Associate prof. of State Classical Academy; Liliana A. Streltsova, Ekaterina A. Kostina and Anna V. Chelnokova were teachers of Saint Petersburg State University. Olga A. Gopneva was a teacher of Far Eastern State University.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)’ countries were represented by these Hindi teachers: Saida Mirzaeva (Azerbaijan), Alesya Makovskaya (Belarus), Khripsime Nersesyan (Armenia), Associate prof Senmigul Dossova (Kazakhstan), Dr. Dariga Kokeeva (Kazakhstan), Associate prof Zarina Rakhmatullaeva (Tajikistan), prof Azad Shamatov, Associate prof Sirojiddin and Associate prof Ulfat Muhib (Uzbekistan); Sanjay Rajhans (Ukraine).
Republic of India was represented by following Hindi scholars: prof Girishwar Misra, Vice-Chancellor Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University and Suresh Kumar Sharma (Wardha); prof Devendra Shukla and prof Beena Sharma, Central Institute of Hindi, Agra; prof Hari Mohan Sharma and prof Saraswat Mohan Maneeshee from Hindi Department, Delhi University; Balendu Kumar Sharma, research staff officer from Delhi Technological University; Lakshmi Shankar Vajpeyi from Akashvani (All-India Radio); prof Richa Mishra, prof Chandrakant Tripathi, New Delhi.
This entry list permits to highlight all-around problems connected with Hindi, Hindi literature, Indian philosophy, Hindi cinema and video production, and also methods of Hindi teaching. Besides that, Russian students were also taking part in the conference. They were getting ready to present their papers in Hindi. Thus, Vladimir Poluektov, 2nd year MA student from Moscow state university of international relations presented his paper “Hindi as a Language of International Politics”, and read his own Hindi poem “Shantaram”. Ksenia Fomchenko, 4th BA year student from presented her paper about Hindi teaching on the Faculty of Linguistics and Viktoria Sharkanova, 4th BA year student told about ancient Russian Golden Ring cities. These two girls were students of from Russian state university for the humanities (RSUH). Some students of Moscow state university presented their papers also. Among them: Anna Yakovleva who talked on allegoric meanings of Hindi verbs of motion, Ekaterina Shalupenko, told about metaphorization of Hindi verbs of motion, Ksenia Lesik delivered her paper on women’s theme in Anamika poetry, and Anastasia Bobykina discussed about causative verbs in Hindi.
Hindi is studied at three Departments of Russian state university for the humanities (RSUH), namely at the Institute of Oriental Cultures and Antiquity, the Institute of Linguistics, and the History and Archives Institute. 200 students studied Hindi at RSUH over the period if its existence. A lot of them cast their lot with India and Hindi. Demand is rising recently for specialists skilled in the international relations in South Asia. Here in-depth study of language, history, politics, economy, and culture. There was an open lecture of His Excellency Mr P.S. Raghavan, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Indian Republic in the Russian Federation at RSUH in April 2014 on modern political situation and BRICS prospects. Meetings at RSUH being organised in cooperation with Indian embassy, are important for students willing to be in demand in cultural, military, trade, and economic relations between India and Russia.
The program of conference was highly rich, including six sessions working, namely “Hindi: Linguistic Study”, “Hindi Literature”, “Hindi: Translation Problems”, “Hindi and Technical Progress”, “Hindi and Modern World”, “Hindi and cinema, and video production”.
Scientific program of Days of Indian culture at RSUH included not only three-days Hindi conference, but also a set of lectures read by the eminent RSUH indologists, like lecture “India as Anti-dot against Europe-centrism” presented by Prof Sergey Serebriany; lecture “Religion in Indian Politics” presented by Prof Rostislav Rybakov; lecture “India and Culture: Anthropological Study” together with screening was presented by Prof Svetlana Ryzhakova; lecture “Indian state and her Space” in English was presented by Sanjay Rajhans (India) and the lecture “Indian Temple Dance” was presented by Dr. Anna Smirnova.
Besides that Mr. Suresh Babu, guru of Integral yoga (composition of Hatha yoga and Ashtanga-vinyasa) of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre of the Indian Embassy in Moscow gave a yoga master-class and the leading specialists of the Centre of Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga-therapy “Atreya Ayurveda” read a lecture “Basic Principles of Ayurveda – the Science of Life”.
For better acquaintance with Indian culture, art, painting, sculpture, etc., the library of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre of the Embassy of India in Moscow placed at RSUH many stands with books and magazines, and also with other promotional material like periodicals, travel brochures, flyers of Indian companies, accredited in Moscow.
A fair was organized at RSUH on October, 14. Russian and Indian firms kindly proposed to buy knick knackeries, shawls, dresses, and spices, and also to taste tea and Indian cuisine. Indian restaurant “Devi-café” was the organiser of this food-function.
The Organising Committee has the hope that the Hindi Conference is resulted by new methods and forms of cooperation between Russian, CIS, and Indian universities and colleges. It was suggested by the Organizing Committee to conduct the World Hindi Conference at Moscow in 2015-2016, which will be invited professors and experts in Hindi from all countries. The proposal was approved by the organizing committee of the conference attendees. In addition, the Memorandum of Cooperation was sighed between the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) and the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGAV, Wardha). The Memorandum of Cooperation is underway between Delhi University and the Institute for the study of Hindi in Agra.
Hindi conference at RSUH had not only scientific but also a great universal importance, because a tolerance problem was raised now ever more pressingly. Having this aim in mind it is difficult to overestimate the importance of studying the language and culture. Russia and India continue building dialogue bridges between themselves. Students studying in three RSUH departments have possibility to gain knowledge on spiritual culture and history of India. Thus worldview basis is building up for understanding the aims of co-operation, mutual interaction, and co-existence of ethnic groups, traditions, and cultures.
Managerial broadcasting board for India of the International News Agency “Russia today”, "India TV", Russian “Radio Mayak”, Tourist Portal “India-Tour”, Press Center of the Moscow House of Nationalities and RSUH press-centre provide information support for the Conference and India Days at RSUH.
What is the position of teaching of Hindi in modern Russia? Over the last decade the study of Hindi has been of an applied character. The students give preference in fast learning of spoken language. It is the Internet resources that will help them in their quest for knowledge. Russians started visiting India more often, enjoyed staying in Goa and the Himalaya, are eager to learn frequently used phrases in Hindi a short time without focusing attention on its grammar. The Internet has become the subject of study of guidebook to India and phrasebook with standard set of phrases for tourists, e.g. “Hindi for tourists” – this is the main source of learning Hindi for Russians. The method of teaching Hindi has changed radically: there appeared the techniques of intensive and distance teaching of Hindi and lingua-cultural study. At present Hindi is taught at six universities in Russia: four – in Moscow, one in St. Petersburg, one in the Far East University (Vladivostok). For more than 50 years Hindi has been taught at two schools: in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Also there are Hindi language courses functioning at private education establishments. There appeared a lot of portals in Russian Internet to teach Hindi via Skype or self-study Hindi on-line.
Hindi has been taught at Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) since 1991. During 20 years the students studied Hindi for five years until 2011 but later the syllabus has changed and the hours for learning Hindi have been reduced to four years of study. The curriculum is made up of such subjects like Sanskrit, culture, literature, poetry in Hindi, grammar (theory of Hindi), theory of translation, international relations, regional studies, tourism.
The active learning of the Indian culture by linguistic and cultural approach, training in the context of the dialogue of cultures allows Russian students expand their worldview, remove the language barrier and join the culture of the country the language is spoken. At Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) there are good terms of teaching students Hindi in order to make them of great masters in intercultural communication. This climate provides the intensification of innovative educational process. Innovative activity is associated with my willingness as Hindi teacher to develop and implement innovations in the educational process. In this connection, along with business games, presentations and video conferences, my students are actively involved in creating websites, blogs and e-portfolio. The innovations present the media education and the formation of media literacy among students who learn Hindi and India. Thus, the creation and work with “hindi-lesson” language blog at www.livejournal.com and “hindi-india” at www.vk.com is one of many ways of searching and processing of information from the media space.
Today we cannot live without the Internet. So language teachers actively use telecommunications technology in teaching foreign languages. The syllabus of advanced course in Hindi provides translations of well-known Indian writers and poets such – Premchand, Amritlal Nagar, Vrindavan Lal Verma, Krishan Chandar, Bhisham Sahni, Jaishankar Prasad, Yashpal, Amrita Pritam, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Agyeya, Ashok Vajpayee, Raghuvir Sahay, Shrikant Varma, Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Dinkar, Upendranath Ashk, Ramvilas Sharma etc. The works of all these writers can be easily found on the Internet.