China is a country that is proud of its own language and has never felt the need to learn English in order to develop and flourish as a country. Now the people of China are interested in learning Urdu.
Why? Let’s find out!!
Chinese students are interested in learning Urdu because they feel that Urdu would open doors for them and Chinese companies working in Pakistan in CPEC projects would provide employment opportunities to them if they will be able to speak and understand Urdu language.
Urdu is not an easy language to learn but the Chinese job seekers are ready to learn it.
History of Urdu Language in China:
Peking University in China established an Urdu Language Department in 1951
Xian and Guangzhou established Urdu departments in later years
Beijing Foreign Studies University has an Urdu language course since 2007
Zhou Yuan is Head of Urdu Department at Beijing Foreign Studies University. She said that some of the students who graduated with an Urdu degree got scholarships in foreign universities while some became part of various companies. So learning Urdu language was advantageous for many.
In the third year of their course Zhou said that they send their students to NUML so that the students can learn Urdu being in the native country. For this six months course in Pakistan, University gets aid from Pakistani Government and Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing.
In order to create interest and awareness in Chinese Students for Urdu language Urdu calligraphy, speech competitions and cultural activities are set up.
Reasons for learning Urdu:
- Some are attracted by Pakistani culture, food landscape and overall beauty
- Others want to learn Urdu so that they can work with Chinese companies working on projects in Pakistan under CPEC
There are Chinese students who have passion to become Urdu teachers after completing their studies in Urdu language. Some find it a beautiful and attractive language though difficult to learn. Then there are those who feel learning Urdu can further bridge gap between Pakistan & China and enhance their friendship. Many students believe that once they know Urdu language they can start their own import and export business.
Demand for Urdu language is increasing so more universities in Shanghai, Tianjian, Kunming, Urumqi and Inner Mongolia are planning to develop Urdu departments.
A thought provoking question
If Chinese Students are passionate to learn Urdu language, why are numerous Pakistani’s not so proud of their native language and feel that English is cool while Urdu is not so cool? Is it time for us to embrace our language with open arms before it’s too late? Let’s think about it.