We additionally ate on the residence of a neighborhood household after which visited a neighborhood temple (16 Might); hiked to a temple on the small city of Mukteshwar after which visited a NGO run by ladies (17 Might); drove by taxi to the historic temple web site of Jageshwar and Vriddh Jageshwar to view Hindu temples that had been constructed between the seventh and the 14th centuries (18 Might); and walked within the forest round our lodging (19 Might). All through these excursions the scholars had many alternatives to interact with locals in Hindi to observe their growing language expertise. Lastly, on 20 Might we made our manner again right down to Kathgodam Station, and boarded the prepare for the journey again to Delhi. A lot of the college students departed on the night of 21 Might.
This journey was extremely profitable, and the scholars got here away with an elevated love of, and appreciation for, India, Hindi-Urdu and language studying extra typically. They got here to see that classroom instruction, whereas it ought to essentially impart rigorous mental coaching and expose them to crucial literary traditions in addition to trendy media in Hindi-Urdu, can by no means put together one absolutely for the complexity of social actuality on the bottom in India. Most significantly, they needed to confront the very actual concept that their values, beliefs, and sense of self had been radically challenged by being in a really totally different cultural setting. They had been additionally compelled to confront the uncomfortable actuality that it isn’t at all times really easy to be satisfied of the universality of a number of the concepts concerning the sovereignty of the person who we take with no consideration in our world in a society that also does, to some extent, stay predicated not less than by way of its self-description on the primacy of neighborhood. They grappled with the concept that to grow to be part of a speech neighborhood necessitates to a major diploma accepting the phrases wherein that neighborhood defines itself. All through this quick journey, I noticed how every pupil was at varied phases challenged to mirror on what it means to study a ‘international’ language, when which may necessitate giving up a bit bit of 1’s self-definition, and radically destabilizing one’s sense of self.
I want to thank the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities for his or her assist for this journey. It was so profitable that I want to make it a extra everlasting a part of the Hindi-Urdu language program for many who have accomplished two years of formal instruction at Harvard. The scholars had been extraordinarily mature, engaged, and had a really superb time in a scenically lovely a part of India. I’m satisfied that almost all will proceed their research of Hindi-Urdu after having had the chance to expertise language in its context and see tangible outcomes from their efforts over the previous two years.