This is something that has been there on my mind for a long time. I realized it was time to put it on the blog so that I can stop thinking about it. It usually works that way for me. This blog is like a pensieve where I dump my thoughts so that my brain can free up that much space.
What I have noticed is that
almost everyone many people from India who are settled in US talk to their children (no matter how old their children are) in English. Only in English.
Yeah, initially when I realized that some of my cousins cannot converse in my mother tongue and can only talk in English, I was baffled. I thought maybe they were brought up that way. But then I started observing other Indians. And to my surprise, I realized that everyone talks in English. Parents talk in their respective mother tongue when they converse with their spouses or with other relatives, but when it comes to their kids, they talk only in English.
I still have not understood the reason behind this. Is it because conversing in English makes them look ‘cool’? Or is it because they want to assert that they are now Americans and not Indians? Husband says that probably they want their children to be good at English. I can understand that, but what is the harm in atleast teaching them their mother tongue? I mean, what is wrong in learning to converse in multiple languages? We have been doing that. I can converse in 3 languages well – English, Hindi and my mother tongue. I can speak such good Hindi that people think I am from North India sometimes. But that did not make me weak in English or in mother tongue.
[pullquote]“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
― Nelson Mandela[/pullquote]
On a different note, I have never understood this problem people have in learning multiple languages. Language is just a medium to understand or to converse with another person. E.g: If someone’s child can only converse in English, he/she cannot talk to older people like grandparents who are not good at English. If a person cannot learn the local language of a city where he/she is living, he/she cannot mingle with the local people. I see people living in a city for 10-15 years still bragging about not knowing the local language. It is not something to be proud of.
I do not see any harm in learning to converse in multiple languages.
P.S: I am not trying to judge or interfere in others’ matters (to each their own). I am just curious.
P.P.S: I have tons of photos to process but finding no time for that. Will put some up soon, hopefully with some travelogues. Life has suddenly become too hectic.