Festival of Indian Culture "Hindi Mahostav" held in RSUH

One of the events that took place within the framework of the Festival (October 13-15) was the International Conference on the Hindi language. The Festival was organized jointly by the Department of Oriental Languages of the RSUH Institute of Linguistics and the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India in Russia. The event embodied the RSUH founding principle, “Education Through Art”. The Festival was timed to coincide with The Hindi Day celebrated annually on September 14 in the Republic of India and in the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India.
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The idea of the Festival to be held at RSUH was actively supported by Rector Pivovar, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Much toward the organization of the event was done by Dr. Pavlenko, Head of the Department of International Relations and Foreign Region Studies at the Institute of Archives and History, Dr. Stolyarov, Director of International South Asian Studies Center, Dr. Gazieva, Professor of Hindi at the Institute of Linguistics, and others.

The organizers set and achieved several goals: the involvement of the academic community in studying Hindi, the development of relations with the leading educational and academic centers of South Asian studies in Russia, the CIS countries and abroad, as well as the introduction of RSUH faculty and students to the national traditions of India.
The conference was opened by Professor Bezborodov, Vice-rector for Academic Affairs, Professor Zabotkina, Vice-rector for International Innovative Projects, Dr. Matveeva, Rector’s Assistant in charge of International Academic Centers. His Excellency Pundi Srinivasan Raghavan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India in the Russian Federation, gave a welcome speech in which he mentioned, among other things, the importance of the event in light of progressive cooperation between the two countries in the field of culture and education. The guests of the conference were also greeted by Mr. Kadakin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in India, Madame Suniti Sharma, Director of the Hindi Department at the Ministry of Education of India, Mr. Girishvar Mishra, Vice-Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University. 
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Another greeting speech, delivered in Hindi, was made by Dr. Chelyshev, an Indian studies specialist, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Chelyshev spoke on the progress in research on literature written in Hindi and on the literature translated from Hindi in Russia and in Soviet Union. 
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 Dr. Zakharyin, Head of the Department of Indian Philology, spoke on Hindi learning in Russia amid the increasing interest of his students toward this language. Dr. Drozhzhin, Deputy Director of Moscow House of Nationalities, read out a welcome address from Dr. Komarov, Director of Moscow House of Nationalities.
Upon the conclusion of welcome speeches, his Excellency Pundi Srinivasan Raghavan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India in the Russian Federation, was presented with the translation of the book “Neem Tree Flowers” by the renowned Indian poet Kunwar Narayan, whose works have been translated into many European languages. The book was translated and published by Dr. Guzel Strelkova and Dr. Anastasia Guria, professors at the Institute of Asian and African Countries at Moscow State University.
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The participants of the Festival were representatives of Indian companies in Russia invited by the steering committee, and over 50 faculty and students of Hindi from various Russian universities as well as from educational institutions of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Such a diverse body allowed for a comprehensive approach to issues related to language, literature, Indian philosophy, and Hindi teaching methodology.

The conference’s work was divided into six sections: “The Hindi language: linguistic research”, “Literature in Hindi”, “Hindi: translation issues”, “Hindi and technological progress”, “Hindi and the present-day world”, “Hindi and cinematic/video production”. Several presentations were given by RSUH students: Ms Fomchenko, a senior Linguistics major, presented a paper on Hindi educational programs, Ms Sharkanova spoke on the program for tourist guides working on the Gold Ring tours for Hindi-speaking tourists. At RSUH Hindi is taught in three programs: at the Institute of Oriental and Classical Studies, the Institute of Linguistics and at the Institute for History and Archives with over 200 graduated students, many of which have made Indian studies their career.

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Lately a strong demand has been felt for specialists in the South Asian region. The academic program for Days of India at RSUH also included a set of lectures by the renowned indologists of RSUH: Dr. Serebryany, Director of the Institute of Higher Research in Humanities, and Professor Ryzhakova. These lectures dealt with the topics of the role of religion for the Indian people, the history of temple dances, and the anthropological research in indology.

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The conference participants were offered several master classes of Ayurvedic medicine and yoga therapy. The Festival also hosted an Indian Fair and stands with magazines and books on Indian culture, art, sculpture provided by the Library of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India

Those planning to visit India as tourists were consulted on the premises by the representatives of the two main Russian tourist portals, Indigo-Tour and India-Tour.

The significance of the conference was not only academic but also trans-national. The steering committee of the Conference put forward an idea of the World Hindi Conference to be held in Moscow in 2015, with specialists and researchers invited from all over the world. The suggestion was upheld unanimously by all the participants. Also a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by RSUH and International Hindi Institute in Wardha. Preparatory work leading to Memoranda of Cooperation with University of Delhi and Agra University of Hindi Studies is under way.  

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