georgia: Georgia state declares November 1 as Kannada Language Day | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The US state of Georgia has declared November 1 Kannada Language and Rajyotsava Day after multiple representations by resident Kannadigas.
The proclamation, signed by Georgia Governor Brian P Kemp, came after a push from the Kannadiga community under the banner of Nrupatunga Kannada Koota.
“This is for the first time that the Kannada language has been honoured at the state level in America. It is something that all Kannadigas in the world will be proud of. It is a big win for Kannada, which is one of the longest surviving classical languages,” Bharath Tejasvi, a Koota member and senior data analytics manager, told TOI.
Georgia is home to around 2,000 Kannada-speaking families and the Nrupatunga Kannada Koota, with around 500 members, has been the most active linguistic and cultural group in the region for the last five decades. The Koota has been pushing the state authorities for a couple of years to recognise the language and to allow Rajyotsava celebrations.
The Koota intensified its effort under the guidance and leadership of philanthropic couple Dr Subrahmanya Bhat and Dr Anu Bhat, its chairman Dr NS Prasad and president Diwakar Nidagatte Dyamanna. In the meantime, the Koota also increased its visibility and emerged as a strong linguistic group by organising programmes and undertaking initiatives aimed at showcasing and promoting the Kannada language.
Atlanta Nagendra, a software architect who espouses the cause of Kannada, said: “The Koota made an impact at the local level in the recent years, it became stronger.”
Joining him, Tejasvi said: “We made the request for the proclamation with the Governor’s office and kept following it up regularly. Kannada promotion activities were affected last year because of the pandemic but now it is a proud moment with the proclamation having been issued.”
Tejasvi and Nagendra feel that the Georgia state proclamation will motivate Kannada communities in other states of the US to strengthen the language.
The proclamation also acknowledges the Georgia Kannada community’s efforts to educate its future generations in Kannada through three local schools where working professionals devote time to teach the language.
Governor Kemp’s note states the Kannada community has “played an important role in keeping the Indian heritage and culture intact, as well as enriching Georgia’s cultural diversity”. The Koota’s achievement has got congratulatory messages from Kannada lovers with many stating that its members have lived up to eminent litterateur Kuvempu’s popular line, “Elladaru iru enthadaru iru, Endhendigu nee Kannadavagiru.”
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Sagar Biswas

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