Hindi and Indian Culture


Photograph of colourful tika powder in IndiaOverview:
India’s vast and varied beauty, history and spirit captivate all who touch its shores. Along with being a feast for the cultural senses, it is also increasingly being recognised as one of the most vibrant and advanced technology and commercial hubs in the world.

Whether you’re fascinated by India as a country and planning a visit, have heritage that connects you to the country, do or are planning to do business there, considering doing some volunteer work, or want to watch Bollywood movies without subtitles, this course can help.

If you need to build better relationships with your Hindi speaking client’s right here in New Zealand, this programme can help make that difference.

Course materials:
A course workbook is provided.

Target audience:
This course is for beginners who wish to gain an insight into India’s language and culture. This will benefit anyone who has Hindi speakers as clients and is suitable for anyone who:

  • is interested in India, its Hindi speaking Diaspora and its culture.
  • has a Hindi-speaking partner or adopted children from India.
  • wants to enjoy Bollywood movies.
  • is planning to visit India or countries where Hindi is spoken.
  • is planning to visit as a tourist, volunteer or for business
  • would like to gain knowledge of Indian culture and way of life and about New Zealand–India connections

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course you will have:

  • Developed the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness to work effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Gained a basic understanding of features of Hindi language ie. grammar, gender-number-tense agreement. (sentence structure, nouns-gender, pronouns, verbs-simple tenses, post positions, adjectives)
  • Gained an understanding and use of familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases around:
    • introducing yourself and others
    • expressing likes and/or dislikes and requesting things (in shops and restaurants)
    • visiting places and asking for directions
  • Developed some Hindi skills as a communicative tool
  • Developed your own package of frequently used expressions related to areas of immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, directions, employment).
  • An appreciation of some key cultural nuances to enable you to build relationships

Course outline:
To achieve the outcomes, key areas of learning will include development of familiarity and skills in the following culture and language settings:

  • Features of Hindi language
  • Basic cultural elements 
  • Greetings and introductions
  • Everyday conversations around:
    • Office 
    • Shopping
    • Getting around
    • Food and Dining

Learning activities focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing Hindi. To reinforce your learning homework is encouraged. There is no formal assessment.

There is a short break half-way through each session, and tea/coffee is provided. You are welcome to bring your own refreshments if you wish.

Class limit:
This course is limited to a maximum of 20 participants, so please enrol early.

Sunita Narayan is the Operations Manager and teacher at the Wellington Hindi School and the President of the Community Languages Association of New Zealand (CLANZ).

Sunita moved to New Zealand in 1987 from Fiji, where she taught Hindi. Since 1995 she’s been involved in Hindi education in New Zealand, supporting learners from a diverse range of backgrounds to learn the language and culture. This includes designing Hindi learning programmes and resources for pre-school age to adults. Besides Hindi, she works in heritage language development with CLANZ, an NGO that leads the development of effective learning systems in the heritage languages sector.

In her spare time, she writes Hindi teaching and learning resources appropriate for New Zealand.

Sunita has published in several Hindi magazines and presented at conferences nationally and internationally on heritage language development in community settings and on various aspects of Hindi education in New Zealand.

Relevant links:
School of Languages and Cultures
Language Learning Centre
Wellington Hindi School

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email: conted@vuw.ac.nz

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.