Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the cultural arm of the High Commission of India in Colombo, is organising the World Hindi Day in Colombo from 10-11 January 2024. The two-day event is being held at Sri Lanka Foundation and SVCC in collaboration with University of Kelaniya, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Rajarata University, Visual and Performing Arts University of Sri Lanka and Karma Devi Memorial P G College of India.

High Commissioner Shri Santosh Jha inaugurated the event today with Dr. Susil Premajayantha, Hon’ble Minister of Education who was the Chief Guest for the World Hindi Day. The State Minister of Education A. Aravind Kumar attended as the Guest of Honour.

During the inaugural speech, High Commissioner highlighted the growing importance of Hindi as an international language. Today, it is the third most widely spoken language in the world with about 600 million speakers globally. He also recalled SVCC’s activities for the promotion of the language over last year, including scholarships to Hindi students for study in India, assistance in Hindi language capacity building of professors and school teachers, etc.  Appreciating the institutions and scholars of Hindi in Sri Lanka, he commended the attendees for embracing the language and thanked them for collaborating in the event. 

The first day saw paper presentations in three plenary sessions by 25 Hindi scholars. Topics ranged from impact of Buddhism in Hindi literature to popularity of Hindi in Sri Lanka. More than 200 scholars and students participated on day one. Day two of the conference will have Deputy High Commissioner Dr. Satyanjal Pandey as the Chief Guest with nearly 20 research presentations by students of Hindi. Qualifying certificates of Hindi examinations organised by the Central Institute of Hindi, Govt. of India will also be distributed to the Sri Lankan students.

World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 every year to commemorate the day when Hindi was first spoken in the United Nations General Assembly in 1949. It was on this day in 1975 that the first ‘World Hindi Conference’ was organised. Hindi is taught as a foreign language in 88 schools and 7 public universities of Sri Lanka.