Johannesburg, Sep.23 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan jointly inaugurated the Ninth World Hindi Conference here on Saturday.
The event featured an array of Hindi books and pamphlets on display at an exhibition organised to mark the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Kaur said India is trying its best to promote Hindi across the globe.
She said that the language had enthusiastic takers abroad apart from its widespread presence within the country, which was the motivation behind the World Hindi Conference, first organised in 1975.
"It was found that the Hindi language was spoken and understood far and wide in a large country like India. In addition to this, Hindi is taught in many countries, and the people in those countries take an active interest in learning the language," said Kaur.
Invoking the legacy of great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela for the people of both countries, Gordhan observed that Hindi was among the languages that had enriched his country's culture.
"Over the years, the Hindi language has evolved in our country, and has been influenced by other Indian languages brought to our country by indentured labourers and other immigrants, (like) Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and Gujarati, as well as our own local African languages, isiZulu, isiXhosa and others," Gordhan said.
South Africa's junior Foreign Minister Marius Fransman and Art and Culture Minister of Mauritius Mukeshwar Chunni were also present on the occasion.
With an estimated 200 million speakers worldwide, Hindi is among the most extensively spoken languages in the world. (ANI)