Sunday, May 16, 2010


That language can be a powerful tool in striking bon homie amongst human beings, is well known and there is nothing like the language which can create instant kinship. Probably this may be the reason that many countries in the Universe guard fiercely their language and promote the same with a sense bordering on fanaticism. Whether it is German, French, Japanese or Spanish those who speak these languages do not care for English which is considered the most spoken language in the world. Japanese, Koreans and Chinese are also proud of their language and are known to accord lower priority in practicing English. Probably economic stature of a country can give considerable clout in promoting the language of that country as exemplified by the Chinese attempts to spread their language across the world. Latest example is Indonesia where the Mandarin language is being made popular by the Chinese.

"The policy goes against decades of anti-Chinese hostility in Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population. But things are changing, and the Chinese government is now sending hundreds of teachers to Indonesia, including one who has taught in Lamongan. As China's economic power grows, the study of Mandarin is surging around the world. Its rise in Indonesia may be one of the most telling examples of how China's influence is overflowing even the steepest of barriers".

Indonesia is a resource rich country and the Chinese know that it will be rewarding to establish their influence there. Language serves admirably well because there is a significant Mandarin speaking population living there for long, though they speak the local language also fluently. Chinese strategy is all the more striking considering the bad image they had in Indonesia till recently. The inability of Indian immigrants in Malaysia and Sri Lanka speaking Tamil to make any impact in their chosen countries may be a reflection on the psyche of Indians who do not mingle with the locals creating unnecessary barriers for kinship. It is ironical that the Chinese with their highly clannish attitude are able to spread their wings while Indians with considerable skills and command over English language are viewed with suspicion in many countries where they have emigrated long back.


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