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People, the world over, are trying to learn the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. To us it may sound absurd because we are a part of a rat race creating a generation which speaks only in ENGLISH.
Learning this foreign language has become so important, that parents these days insist on speaking in English so that their kids may learn it from the day they start speaking. It is completely okay if they do not use their mother tongue at home. All those who are in their 30’s know how they were brought up. It was the mother tongue at home and English only at school. All of us know our mother tongue but not all of our kids.
The trend these days, especially in metro cities, is talking solely in English. I have seen kids who can talk only in English and speak to them in a regional language and they either don’t know or are not comfortable. We Indians belong to multi-cultural neighbourhood’s and multi lingual friends and in such a land being able to converse in only one language, I believe in an injustice to ourselves. There won’t be anything to lose if we speak in more than one language. My question is why is there so much stress on being able to speak in English? It has become so much important that parents, these days, immaterial of the linguistic background they belong to, make it a point to converse with their kids only in English. The result, such kids are not able to converse with people who can’t speak English. There are people who have studied in the local language but have enrolled their kids in an English medium school. It becomes very difficult for such kids to speak in English because there is a lack of vocabulary building at home.
I understand that English being an international language is something that we require everywhere. You must know English but not at the cost of your mother tongue or the national language. I, myself have studied in an English medium school and my thought process is in English but I am comfortable with all the languages that I have been exposed to and the same has been passed on to my daughter. There was a time, when even I had decided that I will talk to my kid only in English from day one but somehow it didn’t happen.
But today I am proud that we have created an environment where my child is exposed to four different languages and that is something not all the kids her age have. I do not have any inhibitions with the use of English language and as I said earlier, the whole of my education being done in an English medium convent school, conversing in English is more comfortable for me rather than my own mother tongue. But that doesn’t stop me from speaking in Tamil or Gujarati or Hindi.
Let’s be proud of our cultures and keep a part of our roots alive with the regional languages.