Washington: Rich Indian culture and Bollywood movies are attracting a growing number of Americans and other foreigners to learn Hindi language, according to Indian embassy in Washington DC.
As many as 110 people registered themselves for the free Hindi classes started by the embassy, it said in a statement. In addition to people of Indian-origin and American nationals, students include citizens from the UK, Germany, Brazil, Oman, Ukraine, Belarus and Bangladesh among others, it said.
Following an overwhelming response, the students are now divided into two class and are taught twice a week.
Teacher of Indian culture Mox Raj (spelled Moksharaj in Hindi) said 90 per cent of his students were non-Indians and come from different professional backgrounds including scientists, engineers, businessmen, yoga instructors and researchers.
While everyone has their reason to learn Hindi, interest in Bollywood movies and the rich and diverse Indian culture are the two main prime motivational factors, the statement said.
Some of the students are taking Hindi classes to talk to their life partners and friends in Hindi, while others are planning to travel to India.
With India emerging as an attractive market for American businesses, some of the registered students are learning Hindi with an eye to expand their business in India. Among other reasons being research on Indian issues the statement said.
A well-known yoga teacher and expert of Vedic literature, Raj was sent by the Indian Government to Washington DC last year as part of its soft power diplomatic efforts.
Last summer on June 16, he successfully gave yoga instructions to several thousand people in front of the US capitol on the occasion of International Yoga day.