Hindi in Pakistan

Hindi is mutually intelligible with Urdu, the national and official language of Pakistan. Both languages are standard registers of Hindustani. As a result of linguistic and cultural similarities, Hindi has had notable influences in Pakistan and is taught as an academic subject in some institutions.

Academic study

The Department of Hindi at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) in Islamabad was established in 1973. It became the first university department in Pakistan to provide certificates, diplomas, language courses, Masters and PhD degrees in Hindi. The department has provided instruction to Pakistani as well as foreign students in Hindi.[1] As of now, it is also the first Pakistani university department to have provided an MPhil degree in Hindi.[2][3] The Hindi Department at the University of the Punjab in Lahore has roots going back to the establishment of the Oriental College; however, it wasn't until 1983 that accredited courses were started. The department provides both undergraduate and postgraduate Hindi courses.[4] In recent years, Hindi has drawn an increasing focus as an academic subject.[5] The University of Karachi also once had a Hindi department, but it was later closed.[6] There is a growing trend of Hindi experts and the availability of texts in Pakistan.[5] At the University of Punjab's Centre for South Asian Studies, Hindi is a mandatory subject for those pursuing an M.Phil in regional languages.[5]

Cultural influence

As a result of Bollywood films and Indian soap opera viewership in Pakistan, Hindi has had a notable cultural influence.[5] Several Hindi words have entered the casual Pakistani lexicon, such as "vishwas" (trust),[7] ashirvad ("blessing"), charcha ("talk"), patni ("wife"), shanti ("peace") and other popular phrases.[8][9] Some commentators view this tendency as an example of globalisation and soft power, while others have described it as a silent cultural invasion or a reignition of the Hindi-Urdu controversy.[8][7][10][11] For some Pakistanis, knowing Hindi provides an opportunity to follow Hindi media and develop an understanding of neighboring India, while for others it is an individual interest.[5] Some first-generation Pakistanis who migrated from present-day India and settled in the country, following independence, are also familiar with Hindi.[5] Hindi was spoken in the region prior to Pakistan's independence when Pakistan was under British rule.[12] Hindi is also spoken among the small expatriate Indian community in Pakistan.[13]

See also


  1. "Department of Hindi". National University of Modern Languages. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. "NUML awards country's first ever MPhil degree in Hindi". Daily Times. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  3. "In a first, Pak varsity awards MPhil in Hindi". Tribune India. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  4. "Hindi Department". University of the Punjab. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Singh, Rohinee (16 September 2015). "Hindi finds more and more takers in Pakistan". DNA India. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  6. "Cross-border relations: 'We are fighting the same battle for human rights'". The Express Tribune. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  7. 1 2 "'Vishwas': A word that threatens Pakistan". The Express Tribune. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  8. 1 2 Gangan, Surendra (30 November 2011). "In Pakistan, Hindi flows smoothly into Urdu". DNA India. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  9. Patel, Aakar (6 January 2013). "Kids have it right: boundaries of Urdu and Hindi are blurred". First Post. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  10. Ezdi, Asif (3 September 2012). "A silent invasion". The News. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  11. Tahir, Ali (23 January 2012). "'My children speak Hindi, what do I do?'". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  12. Hassan, Shiraz (10 April 2015). "Century-old Golra Railway station now a site for museum goers". Dawn. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  13. Ghanashyam, Aniket (10 July 2003). "An Indian Student In Pakistan". Outlook India. Retrieved 22 September 2015. There was a Hindi school in the Indian High Commission so that when the children come back to India they won't have too much trouble communicating with the people here.
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