Last week, Canadian MP Chandrakanth ‘Chandra’ Arya became the first politician to give a speech in Kannada in any parliament outside India.
The Karnataka-born politician of Nepean, Ontario addressed his peers in his mother tongue of Kannada, a language spoken “by about 50 million people.”
“It’s a proud moment for five crore Kannadigas that a man born in Sira Taluk’s Dwaralu village in Tumkur (Tumakuru) District in the Indian state of Karnataka has been elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada and has spoken in Kannada,” he said.
Earning a standing ovation from his fellow parliamentarians, he quoted a Kuvempu poem before signing off: “Elladaru Iru, Enthadaru Iru…Endendigu Nee Kannadavagiru” (Wherever you are, However you are…always be Kannadiga).
Arya, who holds an engineering degree from Bangalore University and an MBA from Dharwad University, was elected to the Canadian Parliament in 2015 as a candidate from the Liberal Party. He was recently re-elected in 2019.
You can watch his speech here:
I spoke in my mother tongue (first language) Kannada in Canadian parliament.
This beautiful language has long history and is spoken by about 50 million people.
This is the first time Kannada is spoken in any parliament in the world outside of India. pic.twitter.com/AUanNlkETT
— Chandra Arya (@AryaCanada) May 19, 2022