I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to blow about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Multilingualism is recognized as a key to creativity. Co-existence of many languages, races, cultures, and religions has been the essence of Indian heritage, with established traditions of a language at home, one for work and another for socializing, and we must retain that. We need to make our school one where identity, heritage and diversity are welcome, while setting up yet another building block for lifelong creativity. Language day is a step in that greater journey.
We all love Language Day for three reasons. First, being comfortable with who you are and where you came from is probably the definition of growing up. This does not mean being closed; it means that being part of a global community is not having to give up who you are. Secondly, sharing and respecting our identities and diversity is the highest definition of truly being human, building relations beyond transactions. It is obvious that students, parents and teachers have an easy relationship with their own language, clothes, culture; and while Language day was conceived as an event to change mindsets around mother tongue and multilingualism, there was spontaneous combustion that represented wonderful collaboration between parents and teachers creating something powerful that none of us could visualize independently. Finally, our diverse student, parent and teacher base means that it is an event that can only happen at a school called Neev, in a country like India.
Can there be an education without cultural identity in it? Is language the secret to identity? Does language create relationships and communities, which are not possible any other way? Do social structures come in only with language? Does language, identity, and culture limit people or set them free?
Language day has an impact on our students that we can’t see otherwise, deep engagement with their minds and their hearts. How do we sustain that? What gets created on Language day, needs to be protected, nourished and grown. It is a celebration close to our hearts that we look forward to continue hosting with the entire Neev community.