News Karnataka
Thursday, April 25 2024

Man from Denmark sets example, wins Rajyotsava award!

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Mysuru: Hendrik Hardeman, a 52-year-old citizen of Denmark, who has been residing in Mysuru for the past five years, was conferred with the district Kannada Rajyotsava award.

He learnt to read and write Kannada during his time spent here and even translated some Kannada short stories to English and Swedish languages.

When Hendrik first visited Bengaluru as a tourist in 1996, he was immensely impressed by the city and kept visiting the country every time he had a chance. He founded India’s first dedicated puzzle company in 2001, which operated till 2008. In the seven years that he lived in Karnataka, he developed an unique love for the Kannada language and began his journey towards mastering the language. Instead of going the traditional route and taking up classes to learn the language, he opted to learn using only dictionaries.

“I learned Kannada words in just a week but it took me a little longer to learn the grammar. I was able to start learning the words with the help of the dictionary”, he said. He added that it was difficult for him to understand the grammar in the beginning; even the basic things like singular and plural words, though he gradually managed to pick them up.

“After learning the meaning of the words, I started to communicate in Kannada and today I can speak, read and write Kannada very well,” he said.

In order to get a better understanding of the language, he read the works of various writers like Kuvempu, Poornachandra Tejaswi, Jayanth Kaikini and P Lankesh. He also translated a few short stories, especially those of Jayanth Kaikini, to English and Swedish. He also translates books from English to Swedish or Swedish to any other language.

Hendrick said that he never expected to be the recipient of the award. “I am interested in Kannada and I am trying to promote but I never expected to be rewarded. It feels nice,” he added.

“Even though it took me only a week to learn the script, it took me nearly six months to learn the basics. I have been reading a lot of Kannada literature. Although, I don’t get the opportunity to speak the language much, my reading and writing are going well. I am learning something new everyday,” he explained.

He stated that it is important for people to learn the local language of the place in which they live and work. He also expressed his desire for Kannadigas to make sure that their language is still around for the future generation and said that they could not depend on other states and countries to do that for them.

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