English Vinglish #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

My mother tongue is Marathi and Kannada – one is My Dad’s and the other my Mom’s. But if mother tongue is defined as the language one first learns to speak and the language one is most comfortable with, for me thats English. Mommy Daddy spoke to each other in English- that was the language they conversed in when they met for the first time and it stayed. It was obvious that when they spoke to me , it had to be the language thats spoken at home. My grandparents were fluent in English so conversing with them in English was never a barrier.

While a lot of people have to face bias for not knowing to speak English fluently, in my case it was a different bias that I had to encounter for a major part of my life and it would have continued had I not retaliated. People presume I speak English because I want to flaunt my superiority. Another baseless presumption is that people who speak English at home are not grounded and do not respect their vernacular languages, these regional dialects will be lost over time due to people like me. Thats a bunch of lies I can can tell you as I learnt to speak Marathi and Kannada as I grew up. Marathi- as I lived in Maharashtra and Kannada as I visited Daddy’s hometown in holidays. I am proud of the rich and diverse cultures, languages and heritage that we as Indians possess and I want to do my best to preserve it but that doesn’t take away my freedom to speak the language I choose.

Each person should be free to live their life on their terms and this includes speaking the language of their choice. I am facing a terrible time right now as a kid when I am being told off for speaking in English. But this is just a part of the struggles of growing up, there is more to come as I realise gradually. Want a sneak peak into my days as a school kid? Watch out for the next chapter.

Linking up with #BlogchatterA2Z

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My theme for the challenge is

“A slice of life through Myra’s eyes” – a fictional tale of growing up and learning some vital lessons about self love, feminism, sisterhood, a working woman and the essence of being a woman in urban India.  

 

 

54 thoughts on “English Vinglish #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

  1. Is language for communicating and bridging up or a reason to fight over? Its sad to see people so biased towards the language. And for the child its all the more baffling situation.
    On the lighter side, I feel the child then in such case learns to read between the lines….and that needs no language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hehe…when someone says that you speak English to flaunt your superiority, one is acknowledging the fact that English speaking people are superior. That’s strange; isn’t it?

    And, what the concerned one is doing to save regional dialects from being lost over time due to people like you? Or, has the person already accepted own inferiority that the person couldn’t do anything to save them?

    There are two ways to level with someone: you either increase your level to match up with the other or bring down the other person to your level. Most of the time, people choose the latter one. It’s really saddening.

    I’m glad that you’re raising such basic issues. Hope people will understand eventually. Kudos, Akshata 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. English is just another language speaking it is not proof of intellectual superiority. Unfortunately, this misplaced notion hasn’t been challenged even 70 years after independence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely, one should have the freedom of choice when it comes to language. English being a superior language is so ingrained in our society that either ways you are doomed if you speak too much English or if you cannot speak at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True Meha doomed either way, it’s amusing to see the same people who call themselves guardians of our Indian culture switch over to English with their kids in the park or at school and the poor kid looks on bewildered

      Liked by 1 person

  5. hahhah. i get you. we face the same situation here in singapore. A speaks english at home. K speaks tamil. I speak telugu, bengali hindi malayalam tamil and english. when i call my brother, we chat in hindi. to my uncle in telugu, to my friends in hindi and bengali. so, its not my fault. but me and K have diff when A snaps us with Malay and Mandrin. what say for this :)) E is for Exaggeration https://syncwithdeep.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/e-exaggeration-blogchattera2z-atozchallenge-atoz/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a relatable post, Akshata! Even though both my parents are Malayalis, we conversed in English at home. Even with my grandparents. My husband is Goan and his side of the family speak in English at home. Yet, I am proud of my roots in Kerala, watch Malayalam movies, understand it too. My daughter is a mix and I will teach her to appreciate her roots from both sides of the family and identify herself as an Indian first before any other region. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said Tina in fact in my case too English was the first language I learnt and till date I converse in this language with my family. As I grew up I found a lot of judgement which I silently bore but now I have learnt to give back for I see nothing wrong

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Communication is the primary need to convey to someone. How does it matter what language it is in? As long as the thought is conveyed it should be good enough. We too speak a mix of Tamil, Malayalam and kids speak Hindi and English without a wee bit of knowledge of mother tongue. As it is most families have people marrying not into various castes. So now we have a national integration inside one family itself. As long as we don’t let our inbuilt assumptions about a certain community or sect or language it should not matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so relatable Akshata. Just yesterday in a metting, an acquaintance told me about how he thought I was from an English course because I converse in it regularly. I had to point out that I cant speak in Psychology so english and Hindi are the two choices I have. Don’t get me started on the adults who think speaking in English is example of western culture influencing youth.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vry true. English was spoken naturally at our home, despite both parents belonging to same language. In fact I learned Kannada that way because mom dad would speak to each other to hide secrets. And I learned it too. haha Nowadays there is immense pressure on kids to learn English. and in fact some people are surprised that my son speaks my language and my husbands language. If it is natural then why the surprise I dont get it.

    Do join me on my #AtoZ journey too.
    http://mommyingbabyt.com/category/blogging/atoz2018/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Another great part to the story, and really interesting arguments. Here we have Scots Gaelic which is really the national language of Scotland, but has been completely replaced by English. Ashamed to say I have never learned it as it is used so little and has no practical use, but hopefully it can be saved. Being able to speak more than one language is a great skill in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. At the end of the day, a good communication ensures if the message reaches right, even if its sign language or just with facial expressions. A very well crafted communication with bombastic words can be lost on the audience. in between, there came pride in language, and its caused a mayhem.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Now, the term “mother tongue” is really confusing. My sister is bong and married to a Malayali guy. They have a child of 9months. Now, the biggest headache of these two families is what will be his (the child) mother tongue :-). After reading your story, I think it will the baby will choose Hindi and English as his main language as his parents communicate in those languages. But, the problem is the grandparents (from both sides) are not comfortable in English or Hindi. I don’t know how will he communicate with them without an interpreter :-). Anyway, Nice post, Akshata.

    Like

  13. I think this is true for many kids these days. They all speak fluent English and are not much aware of their native languages. But can’t blame them as most of them stay in nuclear families. Waiting to read about school life.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow you have learnt two totally different languages and that’s really incredible.

    I agree people should be let to choose their own liking in languages and lifestyle. One thing that i am proud of is my accent, while sometimes lets others know that i am from Odisha. Though this is not something everyone is proud of. And people do make fun of accents.

    And the title – that movie- a gem. Such realistic problems also exist in our day to day lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. In my home state Gujarat , if you don’t speak Gujarati and converse in English you are labelled as a ‘show-off’. While I believe one should know their mother tongue, but should have the freedom to express themselves in language of their choice. So if a person speaks only regional language he shouldn’t be demeaned and vice versa.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Our Indian Society amazes me when it comes up with such asinine accusations and objections. I mean seriously? Just because something is not according to you or what you did, doesn’t give you the right to judge, point at, or put someone down. Huh!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Even till this day I want to be fluent in multiple languages and get upset that I can only speak two languages which majority of the people around me understood. And, our love for English and dislike for regional languages is double standards. If you speak Spanish then you are cool, but if you speak Indian languages then you are looked down.

    Liked by 1 person

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