The Marathi speaking community like other Indian communities is slowly thriving in Germany. Like most other Indian ex-pats most of the Marathi speaking people are getting assimilated in Germany, but at home, they are very much bound to their roots. The first-generation children of this community are very much fluent in speaking Marathi at their respective homes but very few of them can actually read or write in Marathi. Furthermore, in our observation, the influence of local language (German) takes more and more priority as the children grow up. This is a very necessary step to assimilate in this country but on the other hand, parents fear that in future this may result in a lack of communication, loss of personal touch to other friends and relatives, or to our cultural roots. All this can happen due to lost fluency in the parent's mother tongue. To help parents who want their children to remain fluent in Marathi as well as able to read and write, the Marathi Katta e.V. started an ambitious project of Marathi school, a biweekly language school for the kids, where the kids can learn to read and write Marathi.
Our school voluntary teachers are
Mrs. Preeti Sonaikar
Mrs. Jigisha Sahasrabuddhe
Mrs. Kalpashree Kulkarni
Mrs. Bhakti Apte
Mrs. Kirti Lodhe
Dr. Ajay Bidwe
The Marathi Katta school classes take place every alternate Saturday, from 10:00 Am to 12:30 Am. In every class, the children learn to identify the letters, simple words to complex sentences. The children are also taught to memorize the Sanskrit shlokas and related cultural stuff. In every class, an extra curricular activity is performed, where the children learn more about festivals, history, sports, etc.
The children are divided in two groups, an advanced group of elder kids who are little familier with reading and writing from the past. The second group is the normal group. The advanced group students so far have learned to simple word constructions and are now able to read and write the sentences. In the next phases, they will learn to make complex word constructions.
The normal group is mainly the students from the age group of 6-12 are have learned successfully the basic letters and now started to make the simple word constructions. In the next phases, they will learn to read and write simple sentences.
Among many initiatives of Marathi kata, undoubtedly, this one, will be longest-lastingsting impact.
With this school, kids are learning Devanagari script and Marathi grammar helping them alleviate the disconnect to ancestral land. In our last India trip, Leonie read in Marathi and satisfaction on grandfather’s face was unmistakable. Someday Leonie and Radha can read enough to independently navigate in Mumbai.
Even more praiseworthy are activities designed around our festivals bringing intangible benefits like better grasp on our culture and cemenating sense of belonging to Marathi community early-on. In its significance, I feel, the intangibles outweigh the tangibles.
All this would not be possible without selfless contributions of katta teachers! Just like schoolteachers in our memories, katta teachers may stay in kids memories for long. What a way to serve a noble cause!! Long Live Marathi Katta and Marathi school!