- Sputnik India, 1920
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Russian Language Day: Opening Doors & Fostering Cultural Exchange for Indians

© Photo : Pushkin MuseumIntermuseum exhibition project "PUSHKIN. 225"
Intermuseum exhibition project
PUSHKIN. 225 - Sputnik India, 1920, 06.06.2024
The Day of the Russian Language is celebrated every year on 6 June to commemorate the birthday of the famous Russian poet and founder of the modern Russian language, Alexander Pushkin.
On the Day of the Russian Language celebrated on 6 June, Sputnik India discussed with several experts the status of the language in India.
With its rich cultural heritage, and growing business and diplomatic ties with India, more and more students are recognising the importance of learning Russian language.
The growing interest among Indians in learning Russian is due to increased cultural exchanges, expanding business opportunities, smoother negotiations and the appeal of Russian literature and art, experts believe.

"Russia and India have been seasoned friends and this has sparked a curiousity among Indians about their language, literature, and culture. Many wish to read Russian literature in its original language as it has one of the richest literature in the world," Dr. Rashmi Giri, a former scholar at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said during a conversation with Sputnik India.

He pointed out that bilateral relations between two partner countries are relied on various political, social and economic fronts, which opens up various job opportunities for the youth in the fields of business, medicine, tourism, education and the military.

Rise in Scholarship, Exchange Programmes

Meantime, scholarships and opportunities offered by the Russian government to study, learn Russian and work in the country have also increased, resulting in a rise in the number of Indian students, Vikram Chaudhary, a visiting lecturer in Russian at the University of Mumbai, underscored while talking with Sputnik India.

"In the past few years, there are increasing number of scholarships and internships provided by the Russian government to Indian students. There are various programmes run by Russian government including ‘Ambassadors of Russian Language’ for which volunteers from the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute visit Indian schools and universities to promote Russian language and show Russian culture to Indian students," Chaudhary said.

Indian Schools to Provide Russian Language Course

At the same time, according to Vishnu Priya, a BRICS Media Volunteer and a student at the Russian House in Delhi, Russian needs to gain more momentum among Indians compared to other foreign languages.
For this, the need of the hour is to provide students with an opportunity to study the language from the school level.
Priya noted that many foreign languages like European languages especially French, German are being taught at Indian schools in higher secondary while Russian is taught in only a few state schools within, she told Sputnik India

"If the Russian Government could make take the language to the Indian schools, it would leave a greater impact between the two countries. More students would be willing to pursue their graduation or post-graduation in Russia. BRICS as a forum is trying hard to cope with the western hegemony. In order to bring closer ties between BRICS countries' then bridging the language gap is the only way because it is through language we get to understand the culture and the people of other countries effectively," she signed off.

Opening Plethora of Opportunities

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for Russian translators and language experts in India due to widespread usage of the language.

"The Russian language is the only language which opens opportunities for learners in more than 15 countries. These countries do not look at Indians as third-world countries but as an alliance and partner in development," Dr Sonu Saini, chairperson of the Association of Translators-Interpreters of Indian Rusists, shared with Sputnik India.

Meanwhile, India's Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, highlighted in January that bilateral trade between India and Russia had increased fourfold in the current financial year: from $10 billion to $44.4 billion.
Prof.  Abhai Maurya, an author and Russian language expert  - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.06.2023
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