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Press Release on the VI World Hindi Conference

August 30, 1999
New Delhi

Hindi is the second largest spoken language in the world following Chinese, which is the first. Geographically, people who speak Hindi are scattered all over the world and the aptly titled 'Hindi Evam Bhaavi Peerhi' (Hindi and the Future Generations) Conference aims to keep the language flowing well into the 21st century.

The VI World Hindi Conference is being held in London from 14th to 18th September, 99. It has been organised by Hindi Samiti UK, Gitanjali Bahubhashiya Sahityik Samudaya (Birmingham) and Bhartiya Bhasha Sangam (York) in association with Nehru Centre (London), Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan (London) and SAMPAD (Birmingham).

14th September, 1999 is the 50th anniversary of 'Hindi' becoming the 'official language of the Union of India', in the Constitution. We are at the threshold of the next millenium, which will see further technological development, instant global communication and increased mobility of people. These developments are bound to have immense impact on the nature and scope of the Hindi language, both at national and international level. This Conference aims to explore the depth, capacity and potential of Hindi and its application in various literary forms. It will also address issues surrounding the transference of the language to future generations.

There will be a grand inaugural ceremony marking the 50th year of India's 'Rajbhasha' - Hindi, on Tuesday, 14th September, 1999 at the VI World Hindi Conference. Mrs. Vasundhara Raje, Minister of State for External Affairs of India and H.E. Mr. Lalit Man Singh, High Commissioner for India to the United Kingdom will both address the guests on this auspicious occasion.

A plethora of distinguished guests and senior dignitaries from countries, including Mauritius, Nepal, Trinidad & Tobago, are expected to attend the ceremony along with eminent personalities, including Hindi authors, writers and poets from across the globe.

The launch will include renowned Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan from India and a spectacular dance show by young artists from the UK choreographed by Gauri Sharma Tripathi. Ghazal and geet maestro, Shri Jagjit Singh, is the guest artist for the evening. The event will start at 7.00 p.m.

The Conference also marks the 600th anniversary of Sant Kabir, whose writing has influenced the development of Hindi as a poetic language. A limited edition, silver coin featuring his image will be issued to commemorate the anniversary. A quarterly brought out by ICCR, 'Gagananchal' as well as the UK-based quarterly 'Purvai' are bringing out special issues on the occasion.

The academic conference will be held on Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th September, 1999 at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Over 300 delegates are expected to take part.

Tomio Mizokami of Osaka University, Japan, will direct 'Kayakalp', a Hindi play, which will be performed by some of his Japanese students. They will be touring UK on the following dates:

London Thursday 16th September Manchester Saturday 18th September Glasgow Sunday 19th September Birmingham Friday 24th September

A galaxy of Hindi poets will also be touring in a unique event of Hindi poetry, 'Virat Kavi Sammelan'.

London - Friday 17th September

York - Saturday 18th September

Birmingham - Sunday 19th September

Manchester - Monday 20th September

Shovana Narayan will also perform in Manchester on Friday 17th September.

More information about the Conference is available at the internet address www.welcome.to/hindisammelan.