Aligarh: Foreign diplomats and Aligarh Muslim University faculty members discussed the mutual admiration for each other’s language, culture and arts that binds India, Spain and Latin American countries together in spirit despite being continents apart.
They had come together in the symposium of the Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of International Studies on ‘Socio-Culture Relationship between India, Spain and Latin America’.
“At the moment, In New Delhi alone we have 40 schools offering Spanish language as a part of their curriculum,” said Oscar Pujol, Director, Instituto Cervantes, Nodal Institute of the Government of Spain which supervises Spanish language learning in India.
He added: The Instituto Cervantes offers Spanish language courses dedicated to promoting the use of language and culture and not the technical aspect of it. It is an opportunity to explore and get familiar with a wide range of Spanish-speaking cultures.
“Relations between India and Latin American countries have been traditionally friendly at the bilateral and multilateral levels, but more academic interaction needs to be fostered to give us kinds of outputs, including joint publications, technology development, technology transfer, improvised products and processes,” remarked Federico Salas Lotfe, Ambassador of Mexico in India.
Inaugurating the programme, Prof Mohammad Gulrez, Pro Vice Chancellor, AMU, spoke about different arenas of cultural exchanges between India and Latin American countries.
He pointed out: “Our mid-day meal programme is a direct adaptation of the similar scheme in Brazil and there have always been healthy and fruitful cultural and education interactions between India, Latin America and Spain”.
Prof Ash Narain Roy, Director, Institute of Social Sciences, delineated social and cultural common grounds between India and Latin America from an interdisciplinary perspective.
He also shared experiences of working with the Latin American services of BBC Mundo and contributions to Mexican newspapers.
In the welcome address, Prof Jawaid Iqbal, Dean, Faculty of International Studies, suggested academic collaborations for the Department of Foreign Languages, AMU with leading universities and institutes in Latin America.
Dr Noorin Khan deliberated ‘The presence of Latin America in India through Educational Journey’ and Dr Murad Ahamad Khan reflected on the commonalities between India and Latin America and the growing demand for the Spanish language in India.
Suhail Akhtar and Dr Subair PM delivered the opening remarks and extended the vote of thanks.