The huge event “Namaste Deutschland“ at the Delhi Public School Vasant Kunj organized by the Language Department of the Goethe-Institute New Delhi / Max Mueller Bhavan on 22nd of October 2016 attracted more than 4000 students of German, their accompanying teachers and parents. The graduates of the Fit in Deutsch 1 and 2-tests could test their German skills in ten workshops and eight competitions in full sunshine and 30 degrees Celsius outside.
Indian school events tend to have a certain festival character. Therefore, it is always a big task for the hosts to welcome the 77 enrolled schools and to assign them to their workshops and competitions. Nevertheless, Papia Dutta, organizer of the Delhi Public School in Vasant Kunj, and Kavita Chhabra, Jagriti Budhiraja and Hema Gupta, planners from Goethe-Institute New Delhi / Max Mueller Bhavan, are ideally prepared for the number of visitors: The school’s sport pitch is partly roofed and a large number of pavilions are framing the pitch. Thus, the music exhibitions – based on the Project Lautstark of the Goethe Institute Munich - that were prepared by the schools in advance has sufficient space.
Creativity in exploring German language and culture
The way the students fill the prepared structures with life is magnificent. After hardly an hour in the morning all the school logos are attached to the pavilions, the prepared music posters are hung up and the music quizzes laid out. One finds guitars made from cardboard, models of orchestras and big canvas covering the different music styles on the inside of the walls of the tents. The creativity of the schools and especially of the students of German that are channeled for the exhibitions is astonishing. All of a sudden people find themselves surrounded by German language and music – 6000 km away from Germany.
Parallel to the music exhibition, students can once again express their creativity in context with workshops and competitions. In several different settings students dance, model, draw, spray graffiti, do handicrafts and bake, recite tongue twisters, produce short videos, write poetry and short stories. The results of the workshops and competitions show the fantastic results of the German language classes in the schools in Delhi, Delhi-NCR and the surrounding areas.
A dignified end to special event
Before the German language certificates are handed over by Claudia Maul, head of the language department, and Carl-Jochen Dill, head of Educational Services, the audience listens to speeches by the guests of honor Dietrich Graf von der Schulenburg, cultural attaché at the German embassy in Delhi, and Sh. V. K. Shunglu, chairman of Delhi Public School Society, on the special importance of the German-Indian friendship and the increasing relevance of the German language in Indian education. At this point, we should express our gratitude to all actors on school and institutional level that endeavor themselves in teaching German language and culture.