At a place where oddities and potholes greet you at every step of your life, Lord Macaulay seems to be loosing the race to Max Mueller. Move over English! A new generation of Biharis is feeding on German language
along with their staple morning diet of sattu. Archana Rani, who started German Language Centre at Patna in May this year, has 74 students lining up for the course within 3 months of its inception.
"I was a teacher in Delhi Public School, Patna, when I got this opportunity to do a course in German language at the prestigious Max Mueller Bhawan in Delhi. Later, I was selected amongst 26 students to go to Germany for an advance course. When I came back to Patna, I felt the need to start an institute for German Language as there are hundreds of spoken English courses but not a single foreign language course here," says Archana.
Sharmili Yadav, a 19 yr old student of Patna Women's college, who has enrolled for the course, admits as much: "German and French are most widely spoken languages in Europe. Instead of working on my English accent, I would rather learn German and build my competency for a good job in India and abroad."
Archana surely seems to have got the pulse of new generation of Biharis, who are ready to explore unconventional job opportunities, but, the start was not easy. A girl from Bihar looking for investment didn't break ice with financers. "Initially Max Mueller Bhavan was very apprehensive about my project in Bihar because of the bad image of the state. Finally they got convinced and extended their support in designing the course structure and examination pattern. I also got full support from the Bihar Government," adds Archana.
The language has 6 levels. Currently, she is teaching the first level at the institute. And, students are taught not just the language but also the German culture and food. "We have divided the sections on the names of various regions and food of Germany. I think it's equally important to know the culture and food of a country in order to know the language," says Archana.
Don't be surprised if your Bihari friend serves you sauerkraut and talks about Oktoberfest when youvisit his home next time. Chances are that he might be from Archana Rani Institute.