When the Hindi students at Dandenong Southeast sang the Indian national anthem at their Independence Day celebration, the enthusiasm was unmistakable.
It came at the end of a two-hour long program, in which they presented their learning this year with much pomp and joy.
Dressed up in their special cultural attire, the students also sang patriotic songs Hum Honge Kamyab, Tiranga Jhanda Ucha Rahe Humara, and Main Naye Bharat ka Chehra hu.
They also sat down together to watch PowerPoint presentations, a skit, heard poetry recitations, and erupted in joy at the the fancy dress program.
The event was coordinated by Shally Khanna, Hindi coordinator at the school, along with teachers Saloni Surawala, Upma Mittal, Manju Agarwal, and Anjali Gupta.
The program began with reciting the National Song of India, Vande Mataram by the Hindi teachers.
Heather Rae, Area Manager Victorian School of Languages (VSL), South East / Dandenong, was in attendance.
Shally Khanna told Indian Link, “We use this occasion to reinforce to our students who have grown up here or moved here young, about India’s Independence Day. It marks the end of British rule in 1947 and the establishment of a free and independent Indian nation. We talk about being grateful, humble, and respectful to all the people who worked to make India free.”
She added, “It is also important as it helps keep the love for the country alive in the hearts of our young children. Independence Day also infuses them with the zeal and determination to do something for their heritage. It also reminds us to not forget our roots.”
Independence Day celebrations at Dandenong Southeast school have been an annual event since 2016.
The Hindi program has 280 students this year in Dandenong and Berwick schools, with the number of students increasing every year.
The school’s Hindi program marks all of India’s national festivals and national days annually.
Khanna said, “We strongly welcome members of the community to check online Victorian School of Languages and contact us to discuss opportunities to learn the Hindi language. Classes operate on Saturdays from 9am to 12.20pm. Students studying Hindi will develop their Hindi vocabulary and ability to confidently communicate. The program provides instruction in all four language skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening – from Prep to VCE level. The program uses carefully designed learning activities that provide exposure to the rich culture of India and opportunities to explore the cultural context of the language including debate, poetry recitation, role plays, crafts, music and dance.”