Far from their motherland, Indians settled abroad are very much passionate about their country and culture, teaching children their mother tongues and cultural tales as part of a language competition in Singapore.
The contest was organised for some 200 pupils and students this month and it ended in a finale today. Singapore Language Organisation (SLO) organised the Prerna Awards competition in Tamil, Hindi and Urdu themed ‘My Earth, My Responsibility!’.
“The theme resonates with the global environmental vision. One will be amazed at their love for mother tongue and efforts undertaken for its dissemination,” said Mamta Mandal, founding member of SLO.
“The competition’s main aim was to foster excellence in creativity by providing a platform to participants to develop their expressive talents and creative writing skills. This was also aimed at creating awareness on environmental conservation,” said Mandal, the lead organiser who led competition preparation for more than six months.
“This is the first time a competition was held for Tamil, Hindi and Urdu on the same platform,” Mandal told PTI.
IT was held in three categories – poetry, storytelling and public speaking for three groups – for pupils aged 8-12 years, students aged 13-16 years, and for those over 16 years.
Poetry recitation workshop, theatre workshop and public speaking workshops were also conducted for the participants. Prominent linguistics participated in a panel discussion. Aabid Surti, author, painter and founder of the Drop Dead Foundation was the keynote speaker at the competition. He emphasised on individual action, collective impact and transparency in public speaking.
Educationist and Social Activist Kumar Arunodaya, and Filmmaker, Brahmanand Singh, were among other panelists. India’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Jawed Ashraf, gave away the prizes to the competition winners.
Mandal reiterated that the competition’s objective is to create awareness about the rich, cultural and literary heritage that “we share as a community while showcasing the upcoming talents in the field of writing, public speaking and poetry in multi-religious Singapore.”