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Updated: January 10, 2014 14:30 IST

The star of the sammelan

Muralidhara Khajane
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Hendrik Hardeman
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Hendrik Hardeman

Hendrik Hardeman’s command over Kannada comes as a surprise to litterateurs in Madikeri

He speaks fluent Kannada and is an ardent fan of writers Poornachandra Tejaswi, Lankesh and Shivaram Karanth. But he is neither a Kannadiga nor an Indian. He is Hendrik Hardeman, a Denmark citizen.

Mr. Hardeman was the star attraction at the 80th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelan here on Wednesday.

Litterateurs who interacted with him were surprised by his command over Kannada. His opposition to the “domination” of English over the native languages, including Kannada, impressed those who attended the convention.

“I don’t know what will be the future of Kannada, because of the increasing hegemony of a colonial language. The next generation will feel closer to English, than Kannada,” he said.

He learnt Kannada on his own with the help of dictionaries and grammar books. “I have not learnt Kannada through a Guru (teacher). I am a self-taught man,” he said.

Mr. Hardeman came to Bangalore as a tourist for the first time in 1996 when he decided to learn Kannada, as he wanted to live in Karnataka. It had become difficult for him to learn Kannada, as according to him over 70 per cent of the people spoke English and other languages in Bangalore.

After living in Bangalore for 14 months, he left for Mysore to learn Kannada. “It is a must for those living in Karnataka to learn Kannada,” he observed.

Now, he works as a translator. But his wife, Angelina, speaks Tamil and they converse in English at home.

He has read all the significant literary works in the original, and his favourite writer is Poornachandra Tejaswi. “I have read eight important works of Tejaswi and my favourites are Karvalo, Chidambara Rahasya and Jugari Cross. I like Tejaswi because of his unique, mesmerising style,” he said.

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I hope Sir Hendrik Hardeman himself writes his perspective and his own novels in Kannada, may be one day we have a Danish person winning Jnanpeetha Award for Kannada. Kannada is a language that has openly invited everybody as its own. It is the only language with a Marathi, a Tamil, and couple of Tulu (a sister language of Kannada) mother tongue writers who gave it Jnanpeetha Award, the language is as welcoming and cosmopolitan as its people.

from:  Suneel
Posted on: Jan 10, 2014 at 22:21 IST

So much for the Love of Language...Wish all of us appreciated our
nativety and loved the way we are rather than leaning westward or
creating invisible boundaries amongst ourselves in the name of language
and region.
from:  Ravi
Posted on: Jan 10, 2014 at 15:07 IST

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