12th World Hindi Conference, Nadi, Fiji (February 15-17, 2023)

The 12th World Hindi Conference was held in Nadi, Fiji from 15-17 February 2023. It was organized in collaboration with the Government of Fiji.

External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, led the Indian delegation comprising Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan; Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Ajay Kumar Mishra; Members of Parliament; and senior officials.

The Government of Fiji was represented at the highest levels at the Conference, which saw the participation of President of Fiji H.E.Mr. Ratu Wiliame Katonivere; Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Sitiveni Rabuka; all three Deputy Prime Ministers viz. H.E. Mr. Biman Prasad, H.E. Mr. Manoa Kamikamica, H.E Viliame Gavoka; Minister of Education, H.E. Mr. Aseri Radrodro; Minister for Multi-ethnic Affairs and Sugar, H.E. Mr. Charan Jeath Singh; Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, H.E Mr. Agni Deo Singh; and other senior government officials.

President Rato Wiliame Katonivere and EAM jointly inaugurated the Conference on 15 February 2023. The Opening Ceremony saw the release of a commemorative postal stamp by the Government of Fiji. A special Samarika and five other publications were also released on the occasion.

The main theme of the Conference was “Hindi: From Traditional Knowledge to Artificial Intelligence”, and which was discussed in a plenary session. Ten other academic sessions were held on diverse sub themes:

1. Hindi in Girmitiya Countries
2. Hindi in Fiji and the Pacific Region
3. Information Technology and Hindi of the 21st Century
4. Media and World perception of Hindi
5. Global Context of Indian Knowledge Tradition and Hindi
6. Linguistic Coordination and Hindi Translation
7. Different Form of Hindi Cinema: Global Scenario
8. World Market and Hindi
9. Pravasi Hindi Literature in the Changing Scenario
10. Hindi Teaching in India and Abroad: Challenges and Solutions

About 1000 participants from over 31 countries attended the Conference, including about 500 from India and 300 from Fiji. Scholars and experts from across the world engaged in indepth discussions on the various topics of the Conference. A number of books and periodicals were also launched on the sidelines of the Conference.

MOS Shri V. Muraleedharan, who was the Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Conference, read out the outcome statement of the Conference during the Closing Ceremony.

A total of 12 Hindi scholars from India and 19 scholars from abroad, as well as 2 institutions each from India and abroad, were selected for felicitation during the Conference for promoting and propagating Hindi. Of these, 13 Hindi scholars each from India and abroad, including two institutions in each category, were felicitated in person during the Closing Ceremony. The remaining scholars, who were unable to receive the honour in person, will be felicitated through our Embassies / High Commissions in their respective countries or in Delhi.

Among other highlights of the Closing Ceremony was a speech in Hindi delivered by Fijian Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad, highlighting steps being taken by Fiji to promote Hindi including being allowed to deliver speeches in Hindi in the Fijian Parliament.

The Conference also saw emphasis being given to participation from South and North East India, including among those being felicitated.

During the Conference, special cultural performances were organized by ICCR and the Fijian Government.

On the sidelines of Conference, a special exhibition was held on the story of Girmitiyas in Fiji.

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