BY SARIKA JASWANI
Atlanta, GA, May 20, 2022: Globalization in this century has brought about rapid transformation in technology and broadened the mold for collective and cultural growth convergence. While Gen Z insists on learning machine language—a must know code, for this new and constantly customizing, emoji-enthusiastic world. The real lingua franca seems to have taken a back seat. Here’s where our expert linguistics and polyglots commit to throwing caution to the wind.
New directions in Hindi language instructions—The Emory Conference on Hindi, was held under the beautiful backdrop of Emory University, with attendees and live streaming via Zoom reserved in Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum’s Ackerman Hall.
Welcome remarks were given by Dr. Devin Stewart, Chair of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies (MESAS) at Emory, and introduction remarks by Dr. Brajesh Samrath, Senior Lecturer of Hindi-Urdu and Coordinator at the MESAS department for the panel of linguists and scholars. The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Surendra Gambhir, presented an Overview of Hindi Studies in the United States since WWII.
Panel 1:-Peter Knapczyk, Wake Forest University; Willam Cocke, Augusta University; Rajiv Ranjan, Michigan State University; Mansi Bajaj, The University of Texas at Austin
Panel 2:-Brajesh Samarth, Emory University, Gyanam Mahajan, UCLA; Kusum Knapczyk, Duke University
Panel 3:-Kashika Singh, IU, Bloomington, Ashok Ojha, STARTALK; Sandhya Saxena Bhagat, Anil Bhagat, Rita Kapahi, and Ritambhara Mittal of Dhoop Chaoon Theatre Group, Atlanta
Highlights on various topics covered and questions discussed ranged from materials needed to improve learning techniques and modifying ways of assessment. Above all, utilizing language in excess of communication as a transcendence for human expression
Sandhya Saxena Bhagat has been a community leader and pioneer in fronting various language learning programs for children and adults alike. She believes that ‘acting is a good medium to teach language and connect with culture.’
Sandhya Bhagat has created an entertainment niche by deriving benefits from the manuscripts of renowned authors and has also crafted her own screenplays.
“Drama is a tool that can go the whole nine yards in furthering the learning of language for meaning, sentence structure, and subject matter due to repetition of key words and gestures.”
“CHIEF KI DAWAT”—Dhoop Chaoon—Hindi Theater Group performed yet another stagecraft with various moods, space, language, and rhythm during the two-day conference.
Under the expert direction of Sandhya Saxena Bhagat, Anil Bhagat, and a syndicate of talented artists-Rita Kapahi, Asha Gupta, Aashish Kapoor, Sarika Jaswani, Shabana Sayeed, Moiz Husain, Muhammad Assani, Chandran Oad, and Neev Oad, they presented their flair, finesse, and panache.
The team came together in support and advocacy of literature, language, and good old thespian art.
With captivated viewers in-person and on Zoom, the skilled performers presented forty minutes of narrative style intense performance.
An amalgamation of playwright Bhisham Sahani along with elements of background music, folk songs, and Bollywood style dance brought the story alive.
The rendition not only ushered the audience to another era but also ensnared an echoing applause for the storyline and presentation.