Rarely does one see English taking a backseat and being replaced by another foreign language as a medium of communication at an event in the Capital. This is what happened at the Delhi Public School, RK Puram, on the opening day of the international PASH (Schools: Partners for the Future) German learners’ youth camp 2011 on Monday.
The five-day camp organised by the DPS Society in association with the Goethe Institute at Max Mueller Bhavan has attracted students from across India as well as from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Korea and Indonesia.
The event, scheduled to conclude on May 28, will feature German classes, music workshops, screening of movies with German subtitles and visits to historical monuments in and around the Capital.
"This is an excellent opportunity for children to exchange ideas and evolve as global citizens," said Ashok Chandra, chairman of the DPS Society and chief guest, while inaugurating the function. He also thanked Max Mueller Bhavan for its association and welcomed the participants.
The school band struck a chord and later, balloons were released into the sky. The students interacted with each other and took photographs. Hasbiullah Maltin of Technische Schule, who had come all the way from Kabul, said, "I find German language easier to learn than English. I have already started to like India and its people. Unlike our country, where people are a little conservative, people here are more open and fun-loving. I am looking forward to interacting with them and making new friends."
Expressing similar views, Fatima Safdar, a student at the Roots School System in Islamabad, said, "German language is not very difficult to learn and is interesting. I find the language a mixture of English and Urdu."
Referring to her stay in the Capital, she said, "I want to take this opportunity to make friends and learn more about Indian culture."
Indian students, too, seemed to be quite excited. "German language is easy and interesting. The language is global and is spoken by a major chunk of people across Europe. The camp will help create an interest in learning more about German language and culture and would promote better ties between students from all over the world," said Ayushman Singh of DPS Kalyanpur in Kanpur.