Deciding what language to learn in India can be a hilarious adventure. If you ask an Indian, they’ll tell you to learn multiple…and generally at the same time. If you really press them wanting to know the most important one to learn first, they’ll laugh (knowing that the answer will never be as straightforward as we would like) and give you their best guess.
We thought when we moved here that we would learn Kannada. We found a great language tutor and started learning. It was a bumpy ride, but we learned a ton in the short month we studied.
Then we randomly had an altering conversation with a fellow Westerner in our city. He said that the Kannada we could learn here will be vastly different from the Kannada spoken in our target city, Fort Town.
What language to learn was back on the table.
During the first week of September, Adam and I, along with an Indian friend, took a week long trip to Fort Town. We asked our Indian friend to speak as much Kannada as possible to get a feel of what language was most spoken in the city.
It didn’t take long to see that Kannada wasn’t going to a good choice for us. During our first auto ride, our Indian friend started a conversation with the auto driver in Kannada. He responded in Hindi. The rest of the conversation was Hindi. Most every other Indian we met either preferred Hindi or spoke fluent Hindi.
Now Hindi was on the table.
We came back and began talking with some of our colleagues. They were as shocked as we were to find out that Hindi was so well spoken throughout Fort Town. After another quick trip to Fort Town to make sure we had the right idea, the decision was made.
We will be learning Hindi. And not only that, but we will be moving to the far north part of India to learn from some incredible Indians who run a school to teach Westerners Hindi.
Everyone we’ve spoken to about this throughout the decision making process has asked this one question:
How are you guys doing with all this change?
First off, that’s a great question. It’s not like it was a mere 3 months ago that we packed up all of our belongings (at least the ones we didn’t sell to complete strangers in Waco) and moved across the ocean and multiple continents. 🙂
Here’s the crazy part – our hearts are on fire to move!
We love the city we’ve been living in. We’re deeply thankful for the three months of community overseas. The amenities and comforts of this city has made moving to a developing nation a little less jarring. We’ve learned a ton about Indian culture and how we function as white people within it.
But this city was always just a stopping ground to where we really want to live. It was never intended to be our final destination. The purpose of living here was to prepare us well to live in Fort Town city. And, as it turns out, it’s not functioning well in that regard.
So to move gives us a refreshment of vision and purpose. The city up north is not only the most beautiful place on the planet, but is home to a school that will teach us (and teach us well) how to speak to the people we really want to speak to.
In short, we’re really excited!!