Rekha Sastry on importance of languages



Meet Rekha Sastry, an interesting mum from Bangalore, stay at home individual and someone who is willing to explore new interests; started with the intention of spreading awareness on teaching people to learn the local language when one lives there.

She shares with Mums and stories that she began teaching interested students Kannada by making them learn lessons with words, grammar and sentence formation. She even takes them for field trips, Kannada movies where they are supposed to interact with local people using Kannada.

As a mum and responsible citizen who welcomes new people and embraces new cultures amongst her surroundings, she also talks on importance of mother tongue spoken at home.

“I have my strong Kannada roots since I was born and bought up in Mysore and moreover my love for the language aroused an interest to teach folks who are keen to learn this language. So started my journey to teach them and it’s been a great experience from then on without any looking back.

It’s good to learn as many languages as possible as it’s through languages one can communicate. Today English has become almost universal language of communication. But for every child, right from the womb it hears, it’s mother tongue being spoken by its parents and surroundings, so children feel comfortable to communicate in mother tongue and studies have shown that they learn better and faster.

The importance of talking and teaching the kids their mother tongue is to keep them connected to their roots. Also certain things can be communicated effectively only through our mother tongue as we are very comfortable with it.

Our grandparents and elders may understand English but when spoken to them in our mother tongue, their face glows and feel very happy to converse. They share treasure of information as it is easier to converse in mother tongue. Through each one’s mother tongue an individual inherit rich culture, tradition and great values of their place which is very important for all.

Bangalore is very cosmopolitan place and it welcomes people from all over the globe with warm heart. It is one place where people go out of their way to talk to non kannadigas in their respective mother tongue. I stay in an area where a lot of non kannadigas stay and have been residents of Bangalore for more than a decade but don’t know the local language.

Some of them were finding it hard to communicate with locals like maids, vendors, transport people, etc. So through social media they wanted to know if anyone in the apartment can help them. Since my mother tongue is Kannada and I am passionate about the language I thought why not give it a try. Moreover I had free time to spare when my kids and spouse were off to school and office. This is how I started my venture of teaching spoken Kannada to residents here

I very much feel that children have to learn to some extent at least the homeland(native) practices and culture as it’s rich in knowledge and has lot of good things to give to human kind. Be it any native language it teaches only good ethics to people. So parents should inculcate these rich culture to future generation in the changing world of modernization.

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One of my students  Sangeetha Kulkarni, a Marathi speaking home maker from our apartment had and still has lot of interest in learning kannada. She in fact learnt the language quite well in short period of time and started talking with all kannadigas in the apartment. Lot of them came and told me that my student speaks very well in Kannada and that they were are so happy to hear  non-kannadiga residents talk to them in their mother tongue.

Talking about myself, after marriage I was in the U.S for about 10 years and later moved back to Bangalore. I was working as a web developer for a few years before I decided to be stay home mom to take care of my two children. My mom is Suma Sastry who is key person along with my dad to teach me the beautiful language of Kannada. They always use Kannada proverbs in their conversation to convey information aptly. Even today they are my treasure of knowledge.

This is all the more reason why I feel strongly that parents should teach kids their mother tongue and pass on profound knowledge of our culture, food, history, place. The best thing of being a mom is you constantly keep learning even though you are teaching children and contributing lot of things to the family’s betterment. This makes her a better person in reality

Today’s kids get easily influenced by western culture which is not completely bad but our own culture has rich knowledge to offer which lot of westerners are implementing now. Youngsters think it’s cool to follow western culture as it’s something foreign and want to be unique whereas with local culture everyone imbibes in the surroundings.

So this is a constant struggle for lot of parents to make their kids understand the use of native language which shows how our ancestors have rich knowledge which we parents want to share with the new generation.

My endeavor has led me to learn new words of other languages and it has been a rich experience.”

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5 Comments on Rekha Sastry on importance of languages

    • Hi Rekha,

      Good work. Even we talk in Kannada with my daughter. Even my little dog Mishti follows Kannada. My daughter was not able to talk till the age of 2 and a half. We took her to play house where we were advised to talk in one language ie; English. But we started off in Kannada and there she goes, my daughter learnt many languages at a time. Mother tongue is a must for every child,

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