Kerala: Hindi has become an essential indgredient in the Malayali's survival kit in his homeland

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Kerala: Hindi has become an essential indgredient in the Malayali's survival kit in his homeland

Post by Rashmun on Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:36 am

A working knowledge of Hindi has become an essential ingredient in the Malayali’s survival kit in his homeland, thanks to a cosmopolitan population and a growing number of migrant workers

Kochi’s cosmopolitanism is throwing up a new challenge to its citizens--the need to learn Hindi or better their Hindi speaking skills. In addition to the floating population of North Indians, there is a burgeoning number of migrant labourers from the Hindi heartland and the North East. Gardeners, house helps, drivers, waiters, mechanics, salon staff, shop assistants and watchmen are invariably non Malayalis and the need to speak Hindi has never been greater for local denizens.

Earlier it was in the Naval establishments in the city where Hindi was spoken regularly, but now it is heard commonly in public spaces. Hindi signage appearing on buses and stores is another example of how the use of the language has spread. Angrezi davakhana, (English medicines); atta chakki (flour mill) have come to be used in common parlance.

For someone like Prithi Sinha, a North Indian who works in the city, however, this is working in the reverse. “I have been trying to learn Malayalam and now, I don’t really think it is necessary. Everyone is beginning to speak Hindi,” she says.

On New Year’s eve the police were heard talking to visitors in Hindi, offering directions. “However, Fort Kochi is a special case. Tour guides know more than one language; earlier it was Italian and French, but now everyone is brushing up their Hindi because of a huge inflow of tourists from North India,” says a cafe owner in Fort Kochi. She has noticed the change in lingo and accents as well. This is linguistic anthropology at its best and a transition stage in cosmopolitanism. When societies grow and blend this is bound to happen, she adds.

The Patna-Bihar Express, a chain of small hotels that caters to the Hindiwallas, who work in the city, is an example of how the city’s demographic has changed. “I used to get special mithai made from a halwai in Bihar, now that is available here, made by a migrant sweet maker,” Preethi says.

Not that Hindi was alien to the Malayali, in fact, he speaks the language much better than his Southern neighbours, but of late a working knowledge of Hindi has become an essential ingredient in the Malayali’s survival kit in his homeland.

Police and traders have begun to take Hindi lessons to communicate better with the nearly 25 lakh migrant workers spread across the State. Homemakers too have taken to learning the language to make communication easier with the help or the gardener. Retail traders and grocery shop owners in small towns and villages have started to display their price list in Hindi...

“What I have realised is that Malayalam is not an easy language to learn for some one from the North. I have eight men from Bihar and in all these years they have not been able to speak or understand Malayalam properly. My main job is to act as an interpreter for the tailor, the cutter and the customer. Some of the customers speak a smattering of Hindi all mixed up with Malayalam and English which makes matters worse leading to some really funny situations and weird results. The other staff is slowly getting a hang of Hindi. Surprisingly, my gardener who comes from Bengal, speaks flawless Malayalam with words that we have long stopped using,” says Mini Jayan of Kiara....

“When we recruit engineers, one thing that we insist on is a working knowledge of Hindi. In the present scenario, a site engineer or supervisor cannot survive without Hindi. We have workers who have been with us for more than seven years. While some of them have picked up Malayalam very well there are many who still understand only Hindi and some only their mother tongue. And our staff members speak a sort of hybrid language that has words from all these languages but in a typical Malayali intonation.”

http://www.thehindu.com/society/Malayalam-bolo/article17009032.ece

Rashmun

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Re: Kerala: Hindi has become an essential indgredient in the Malayali's survival kit in his homeland

Post by Rashmun on Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:48 am

Prof A U Varghese, who teaches Hindi at Bharat Mata College at Thrikkakara, near Kochi, says he has given training in Hindi to policemen at the local station. “I have held classes on how to elicit responses in Hindi on basic details from a complainant or an accused . All the policemen at the station were very keen to learn Hindi for basic communication,” says Varghese.

Retail traders in small towns and villages, many of which have settlements of migrant workers, have started to display their price lists in Hindi too, besides putting on display essential bits of information in that language.

“If we traders don’t know Hindi, we are going to lose our business with migrant workers,” says M Mohiydeen, a cellphone-cum-footwear trader at Payippadu village in Kottayam. “If we do know Hindi, they will feel comfortable in the locality, prompting them to stay and buy from us.” Mohiyudeen knew no Hindi until migrant workers started arriving at Payippadu village. “I took the help of a relative who knows the language.”

At a hotel at Payippadu, the owner-cum-supplier takes orders from a client and passes on instructions in Hindi to the kitchen staff.

Traders in Perumbavoor near Kochi, which has one of the earliest settlements of migrant workers from North India, have made themselves conversant with Hindi. The owner of a medical shop here says many migrant workers approach the sore to deal with various ailments. “They describe the ailments and we give them medicine. Had we not learnt Hindi, we would have simply lost the business from that segment.”

On buses in many places, the staff can be heard speaking to migrant workers in Hindi. With workers’ settlements having come up in several areas, buses are also displaying destinations in Hindi.

Migrant workers are in several skilled and semi-skilled jobs. Many of them have become waiters, hotel room boys and workshop mechanics, and the need to learn Hindi has forced itself on Kerala’s own people seeking those services in their home state.

Besides, some migrant workers have married local women, giving Hindi a permanent residence in Kerala.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/with-migrant-workers-hindi-settles-down-among-kerala-locals/

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Re: Kerala: Hindi has become an essential indgredient in the Malayali's survival kit in his homeland

Post by Kayalvizhi on Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:11 am

good post

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Re: Kerala: Hindi has become an essential indgredient in the Malayali's survival kit in his homeland

Post by Rashmun on Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:01 am

Kayalvizhi wrote:good post

Thanks.

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