Wednesday, February 09, 2011
NEW DELHI, INDIA : James Madaio, a PhD candidate at Deccan College, Pune, considered Sanskrit a dead language until last year. His opinion changed shortly after he saw his college teachers converse with their students in Sanskrit. Later, he landed up in Delhi and joined Samvadshala, where a 14-day Sanskrit speaking course draws students from all parts of country and abroad, such as US, Russia, China, Germany, Canada and others.
The residential course follows a unique methodology to teach the ancient language through songs, jokes, lectures and by offering the right environment. 'Students are mandated to interact only in Sanskrit. Not even informally are they allowed to speak in Hindi,' says Manju Shree, who teaches at Samvadshala.
'At the outset, they make you hear Sanskrit, then you are encouraged to start using it in daily conversations and eventually, you learn grammar. Every evening, we listen to a lecture in simple Sanskrit by
an eminent scholar,' says Ghanshyam Shukla, a postgraduate in physics from Delhi University. 'A lot of words are common to Hindi and Sanskrit. Even the script (Devnagari) is the same. On top of it, when you get an environment where you have to communicate only in the same language from five in the morning to 10 at night, learning takes place faster,' Manju Shree adds.