Successful Conclusion of the Three-day Indo-European Hindi Festival at Oxford Business College

Oxford Business College’s new, Brentford campus, recently hosted a momentous three-day Indo-European Hindi Festival, which saw the convergence of esteemed dignitaries, delegates, authors, and writers from 14 countries. The festival, inaugurated on 13th October, was graced by the presence of the former education minister of India, Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the Lord Mayor of Hounslow, Mr Afzal Kiyani and Member of Parliament in the UK Mr Virendra Sharma among others.

 Organised by Vatayan-UK in collaboration with the UK Hindi Samiti, Oxford Business College, Indraprasth College-Delhi University, Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad, Vani Foundation, Kavyadhara, and KavyaRang, the Indo-European Hindi Festival aimed to create a platform for thinkers, scholars, and authors to engage in open discussions on language and literature. This unique event carried the tagline ‘Hindi: European Scenario: Teaching, Literature, and Translation.’

 The festival began with a ceremonial lamp lighting by Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Mr Deepak Chawdhury, Minister (Co-ordination) from the High Commission of India-London, and other esteemed dignitaries. Welcoming the attendees, Dr Padmesh Gupta, Managing Director of Oxford Business College, expressed his delight in hosting such an august gathering at its newly opened campus in Brentford. He also praised Prabha Khaitan Foundation and Vani Foundation of India for their kind support to the event by holding ‘Kalamotsav’, a day with renowned authors from India on the 3rd day of the festival.

 The chairperson of Vatayan Mrs Mira Kaushik addressing the festival praised the hard work of Mrs Divya Mathur, founder of Vatayan and entire team for their unconditional commitment towards the promotion of Hindi language.

 During his speech, Mr Pokhriyal commended Oxford Business College for embracing Hindi literature with open arms and congratulated them on their commitment to promoting the language. The festival showcased the bridges built by academicians, authors, and volunteers dedicated to teaching and researching Hindi language and Indology in Europe.

 As a keynote speaker for the festival, Mr Anil Sharma Joshi, former diplomat and Vice President of All India institute of Hindi languages dedicated the event to the rich history of Britain’s contribution to the Hindi language and remarkable works happening in the UK inspiring the world.

 Mr Deepak Chawdhury extended his blessings to the festival on behalf of the High Commission of India. Mr Tejendra Sharma MBE and Mr Arun Maheshwari also conveyed their wishes on this occasion.

 Highlights of the festival included the launch of Mr Nishank’s book, on education reforms and the special issue of Pravasi Sansar dedicated to the festival. Vatayan’s International Award Ceremony honoured notable individuals such as Mr Santosh Choubey, who received the Vatayan International Life-Time Achievement Award, and Prof. Anamika, who was felicitated with the Vatayan International Literary Award. Mr Heinz Werner Weissler and Mrs Rekha Sethi were also honoured on the occasion for their academic contributions to Hindi language and literature. The inaugural event started with a traditional Vandana presented by Mrs Nandita Sahu, Cultural attache, High Commission of India- London.

 Throughout the festival, eight academic sessions delved into various subjects, including translation, globalisation, teaching Hindi in Europe, literature and cinema, unity of Indian languages, and outlining the future of Hindi language and literature. Eminent scholars, educationists, and literary figures from India and abroad contributed their expertise to these sessions.

 The festival also featured captivating performances by Dona Ganuguly and troupe, including a Kavi Sammelan (poetry recitation) and Kalamotsav, which showcased in-depth conversations with eminent Hindi authors. The Valedictory session marked the successful conclusion of the Indo-European Hindi Festival, with felicitations for notable Hindi authors and collaborators who played vital roles in making the event a grand success. 

The key figures from the world of Hindi language and literature participated were Mr L. P. Pant (chief editor of Dainik Bhasker, national news paper of India, Mr Sanjeev Paliwal (managing editor of Aaj Tak TV national television of India), Mr Arun Maheshwari (MD of Vani Publishers India), Mr Sachhidanand Joshi (head of Indra Gandhi Cultural centre India),  eminent authors to name a few were prof Anamika, Pratyaksha Sinha, Manisha Kulshreshtha, Dr Nanda Kumar (Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan (London), Mr Tejendra Sharma MBE, Rajesh Kumar, Jawahar Karnavat, Alpana Mishra, Neelima Dalmia Adhar along with Manisha Jain and Apra Kuchhal. 

 Dr Padmesh Gupta and Mr Anil Sharma Joshi summed up the festival, expressing satisfaction in its comprehensive outline and strategy along with emotional thanks giving speech by Ms Titiksha Shah praising her team of volunteers for their hard work. The management committee of Vatayan-UK and global coordinators collaborated diligently to ensure the event’s success.

 The Indo-European Hindi Festival at Oxford Business College served as a remarkable platform for the exchange of ideas and celebrating Hindi literature’s vibrancy and cultural significance. Attendees left with renewed inspiration and a deeper understanding of the language and its future.

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