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"My art is my search for the moments beyond the ones of self knowledge. It is the rhythmic fantasy; a restless streak which looks for its own fulfillment! A stillness that moves within! An intense search for my origin and ultimate identity". - Meena

Monday, 6 May 2013

One World, One English, The Many Languages of the Imagination

Map of the (major) dialects of Hindi.
Map of the (major) dialects of Hindi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FSALA-2013 session on "One World, One English, the Many Languages of the Imagination" at University of Toronto". Participants: Sadhu Binning (Punjabi) Valerie Joan Tagwira (Shona) Sharankumar Limbale (Marathi), Meena Chopra (Hindi), Humaira Rahman (Urdu). Moderator: Arun Prabha Mukherjee
 Meena Chopra is a Canadian artist and poet of Indian origin. She writes both in Hindi and English. She read the following paper at the Festival of South Asian Literature & the Arts 2013 held at University of Toronto from May 3 to 5, 2013. Meena was a panelist on 'One World, One English, the Many Languages of the Imagination'

Blessed are the people who become the vehicle to the inspired moments of the creative impulse in the language of their soul.

World is transitioning into a global village where English language is taking the front seat but not in a traditional British, American or any other way. It is evolving with variety of different realistic cultural influences. The biggest influence on new English is of the technological culture and the dynamism of the young who are the creative compelling users of technology. The idiom and syntax are changing fast. 
Manifestation of the subtle thought imaging is taking over directly from the mental sound vibrations in a language where we have started expressing in symbols like smilyes, pictograms and info-graphics etc. This visual expression of subtle thought is the immediate outer expression of our mental imagery perhaps descended on us from that one ultimate sound vibration (Shabd Brahm).   The entire generation is on the thresh hold of being more and more visual in their expression of thought.  

Underneath this visual explosion, English, with its new tools of expression is threading the beads of different languages so to speak, where the images of mind in their visual expression have started taking the lead.

What language does imagination has?  It is a question that eludes many of us. Whatever way our creativity gets stimulated, according to the researchers, as humans our thinking is mostly in images and is visual. To add, from generations, powerful imagery has always been an intrinsic part of any creative writing which actually surpasses the barriers of language and language becomes a medium of creative expression.

Einstein said that he always thought in images, in his words, "I very rarely think in words. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards," 
So what we have observed with any of our senses, we can imagine; what we imagine, we image.

Traditionally in a country like Canada with its English predominance, linguistic diversity definitely breaks down the barriers to intercultural dialogue and promotes multilingualism as a fundamental tool for the prosperity of literature. Linguistic diversity also contributes to enhancing creativity and innovation at all levels of education and learning. There is a clear link between multilingualism and creativity because knowledge of languages gives access to other ways of thinking and to other cultures as well, reinforcing our creative capacities. This in turn has a positive impact on innovation.

In the changing environment where English is the predominant world language, Hindi like many other languages of the world is also transforming. It is becoming richer because of cultural influences for both in its usage, vocabulary and expressiveness. English language definitely has a major influence on Hindi as well as it has on many other languages in many ways. 

There are many remarkable Hindi literary blogs on the net. It is adapting very well to the transition and the idiom. This change is inevitable with technological progression where English is predominant.

Some facts and observations about Hindi language:
·        After Chinese, Hindi is the maximum spoken language of the world.
·        Hindi has been one of the first languages which was picked up by Google when they started adding and introducing languages to the net for a wider usage of technology with languages. 
·        Instant Google translations are available at hand for all languages.

Hindi Writers' Guild, the organization I represent here, was formed in June 2008. It isthe first of its kind multi-faceted organization in Canada. Its prime objective is to educate and increase public understanding of Hindi literature and the language, also to develop the writing skills in Hindi language. Organization promotes South Asian writers and literature through seminars, lectures and conferences etc. Computer literacy and promotion of book publication in Canada are the main intents of Hindi Writers’ Guild.

To elaborate the organization is involved in the following:

  • GUIDANCE IN THE ART OF HINDI WRITING AND HINDI LITERATURE
  • FACILITATION OF COMPUTER LITERACY IN HINDI WRITING
  • FACILITATION OF EDITING AND PUBLICATION OF HINDI BOOKS
  • TRANSLATION AND PUBLICATION OF NON - HINDI LITERATURE IN HINDI
  • ARRANGING LECTURES BY EMINENT LAUREATES ON HINDI LITERATURE, BUSINESS, ENVIRONMENT AND PHILOSOPHY
  • HOLDING BOOK EXHIBITIONS, PUBLIC SEMINARS AND CONFERENCES TO PROMOTE HINDI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
  • PROVIDE TRANSLATION SERVICES FOR HOSPITALS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS WHOSE MOTHER TONGUE IS NOT ENGLISH
  • LIAISON AND COLLABORATION WITH CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS, NON-PROFIT COMMUNITY, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAMS RELATING TO HINDI LANGUAGE AND HINDI LITERATURE
  • HELPING IMMIGRANTS ASSIMILATE INTO CANADIAN SOCIETY BY DEVELOPING HINDI INDO-CANADIAN LITERATURE IN CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE
  • MAINTAINING HINDI WEB-SITE FOR E-MAGAZINE AND E-LIBRARY FOR MEMBERS

http://hindiwg.blogspot.com/
Trans-creating my poem from Hindi to English. Sometimes I do it from English to Hindi

जीवन गाथा 
उठती हैं
          गिरती हैं
      दर्पण हैं साँसें
   प्रतिबिम्बों को
   जन्म देती हैं
साँसें 
         प्रतिबिम्ब, जो कई
            चिह्न बना देते हैं
                 दाग देते हैं प्रश्न -?
                 कई दायरों पर
              लिख देते हैं दायरे
              कई सीनों पर।
          छप जाती है
    समय के पन्नों पर
 जीवन गाथा।
 
Epic 
It rises and falls.
Is it a mirror?
Breeding reflections
Earthlings
Multitude,
Stamping signatures
Carving the questions beyond-?
Limiting the limits.
Marking the boundary lines
inscribed in hearts. 
Binding and circulating
A printed lifeline.
An epic
Ending
on the blank sheets
of  time.
Is this my breath in action
my spirit in a straight line ?


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