English

Ganesh Chaturti is a big festival in our families. The family (from my husband’s side) having acquired gigantic proportions has now formed a trust and the trust now celebrates four festivals in a year grandly. The rest can be celebrated at home if you so wish or can forget.

So on that grand day we assemble at our ancestral house which we technically call as ‘hod ghar‘. (big house) situated in Gangulli. Where is Gangulli? Well it is a scenic town near Kundapur, Udupi zilla. Have a look here. Well this picture was taken from a moving bus by yours truly, so please forgive the quality.

Chaturti is a time when we deck up in our traditional best and amidst the cacophony of mantras and gossip; celebrate. Kids run about, women whisper, men break coconuts and the devout sing.Β  Me personally enjoys the scene.

Lunch is usually served at 5 p.m. Don’t panic. Before that we have had our turns of Taani (meaning snacks and coffee/tea)

After a sumptuous meal, we gather around the well to wash our hands and well…to chat some more.

And it was then last year that I met my hubby’s cousin. We chatted and then she heard me talking to my son in Konkani.

Shocked she asked,’ You speak to him in Konkani not English’

Me: ‘Why should I speak in English’

She: ‘But you stay in BAHRAIN’

Me: ‘So’, I was going to say that Bahrain is a part of this Earth only but stopped myself.

You may ask why.

In our families, my husband is supposed to be sadhu and me jor. (Aggressive) Well the closest know the internal dynamics. But let us not discuss all that right now.

The jor that I am, I had a devilish plan.

Me: So which standards your sons are studying in.

She: The eldest is in 4th, younger one is in Balwadi. We speak in English at home, so that it is not a problem for them.

Me: Problem?

She: Yes, You know how important it is to know English. and so….

She went on explaining the need of speaking English at home. My smile went on becoming wider.

In some time, the hubby joined us after breaking coconuts, serving food and having eaten himself.

He: What are you two talking about

Me: Akka is telling me the importance of speaking in English, they speak English only at home.

He (shocked). Why?? Kids have to be comfortable with their mother tongue first. English as such they learn in school, don’t they. Yes, English is necessary but our regional languages have better grammar ……..blah, blah blah.

I stayed in the background and watched Akka being bombarded with facts and figures.

Jor who Me?? *evil grin*

28 thoughts on “English

  1. ha ha πŸ˜€ those logics.

    But on a serious note, the children with learning issues or delays need to learn one language at a time so parents seek english deliberately because they need to adjust in school. Digressing a little here but seeing these children around, mind automatically goes to that track πŸ™‚

  2. In my house my children when young and now my grand children converse mostly in English.Only when they get angry they switch on to Tamil to call names!

  3. Bhagyashree,

    One should not forget mother tongue. We need to make children know it and be fluent also. Other languages can be learnt later.

    Take care

  4. Hahaha..good one Bhagyasree. I read this story on my cell as soon as I woke up. Hubby and son were doing some exercises and I was still dozing the last 5 more mins, plss…then I heard hubby instructing the kid…I yell from my bed, why are you talking in English? Talk to him in Telugu…my son says, ” nanna, don’t listen to amma, amma why don’t you sleep?” lol..otherwise, he would come and hug and wake me up…btw, I liked the way you celebrate festivals..:)

  5. Its good to know about your family get together during the festivals…There are cases I have seen where mothers themselves are not so proficient in English but insist upon speaking only in incorrect English ha ha….Mothertongue should not be ignored, I agree to that.

  6. We have an issue with language because I am a Bengali and hubs is a Telugu! So, we decided that English and Hindi will be the languages of choice in the house!!
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!!

    • Yes english can be helpful then but then your children have the option of learning two more languages. I particularly like regional languages. They have so much depth. The ‘bhav’ comes out nicely, I feel. But then maybe I am partial.
      Welcome to SS Roshni

  7. I am laughing! My sons speak in English to each other but we speak in Tamil with the children. When angry we switch to English, I think! I don’t like children calling parents as Mummy Daddy too! Am I very conservative?!

    I am from Udupi, Bhagya and speak in Tulu. My brother in law is from Kundapura! Since I am married to a Tamilian, the festivals are celebrated in the Tamilian way. You can find me in the cooking side which many of my relatives from my husband’s side also follow!

    Good description of the festival (!) and the atmosphere! Display the pictures in another post!

    • Even I don’t like Mom and Dad. Call me Amma, ma anything but not Mom πŸ™‚
      Usually for festive cooking women are asked to stay outside. Not for any other reason but for the fact that cooking for so many will require heavy, big utensils. So its a cook and his team. We do help with cutting and organising part.

  8. I am totally of your belief. My kids did not hear anything but Hindi till they went to school. I am very particular about languages :). And, I wanted them to pick up correct Hindi from me. While at it, I improved hubby’s Hindi too :). I don’t buy it that kids need to learn English first. Kids pick up languages so easily and they must be exposed to both their parents’ mother tongues in the initial years. This misplaced logic is only seen in India. My husband’s mom is Marathi from Mysore and dad was Punjabi. Sadly, they did not speak Marathi, Kannada or Punjabi at home but for some reason spoke Hindi. Their Hindi was also very South Indian which improved when he went to study at IIT Delhi :).

    • I agree. My son started speaking a bit late but he started with Konkani. Now he speaks in Konkani and English and also a little of Hindi. He is also learning Tamil and Malayalam. In India I have seen teachers insisting that parents speak to kids in English at home. Here it is the reverse. Teachers insist that the kids learn their mother tongue first. Of course by here I mean government and other private schools and NOT Indian schools.

  9. You are a wily jor(u) indeed! I personally am comfortable in any Indian language than English while speaking but writing is another matter and can write best in English. I never forced the kids to speak English but made them read a lot.

    • Ditto. πŸ™‚ Personally I love speaking in Hindi, Telugu, Konkani or Kannada than English. But then professionally English is the only option.
      And jor…I am πŸ˜€

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