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Hindi and a Bengali in Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka

TAMIL TRIBUNE, November 2012 (ID. 2012-11-fb1)
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I am a Bengali living in Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka. I know Bengali, English, some Kannada and a little bit of Hindi. I want to learn and speak Kannada language properly since I live in Karnataka. However, some North Indians in my workplace tell me, "Why are you wasting your time learning Kannada; Bangalore is a metropolitan city and you can easily get by using Hindi. When I tell them that my Hindi is also not very good they are shocked and amazed. Those arrogant North Indians say, "We live in India! How dare you not speak good Hindi? It is our national language!" Sometimes they say, "You are not a South Indian, so why don't you speak Hindi... why do you want to learn Kannada?" I tell them, "I am not a South Indian, but I am not North Indian either. I am from Eastern India and now I live and work in South India. I want to learn the local language since even though Bangalore is a metropolitan city, it is still in Karnataka. I believe non-Kannadigas living in Bangalore should learn Kannada, just like I want non-Bengalis living in West Bengal to speak Bengali." They say, "These are mere regional languages, they are of no use, don't learn them. Learn Hindi." I am confused as to why I should learn a North Indian language Hindi when my mother tongue is Bengali and I live in Karnataka. Moreover, both Bengali and Kannada have vast and rich literatures compared to Hindi. After going through Tamil Tribune I came to know that I am not the only one who faces this kind of treatment by some North Indians

By the way, I have seen this arrogant behaviour only from people of Hindi states. I have never seen a non-Hindi speaking person showing this arrogance. I know many Kannadigas too... and they are very nice and friendly people and I share a good rapport with them.

A. V.
September 19, 2012

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