The director of the Instituto Cervantes, Luis García Montero, will visit New Delhi from 6 to 8 July to promote Spanish in the country, where it has recently become one of the languages offered in secondary education. Over two days, García Montero will hold working meetings with Indian authorities, a meeting with Hispanists and will present the first translation of "Don Quixote" into Sanskrit, the classical language of India.
The programme will begin on Wednesday 6 July with meetings between the Director of Cervantes and the President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, and the Director General of the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Rajeev Singh. In the afternoon, García Montero will hold a session with Hispanists at the Cervantes in New Delhi.
Afterwards, in the auditorium of the centre, the director will present the Sanskrit translation of "Don Quixote" (6 p.m. local time), a work that was promoted by the American book collector Carl Tilden Keller (1872 - 1955) and carried out by the Brahmins Jaghdar Zadoo and Nityanand Shastri from an 18th century English translation of this universal work.
This volume, edited by the University of Pune and published for the first time, contains the translation of eight chapters of the first part of Don Quixote and presents the Sanskrit translation and the English parts on facing pages. It also includes a description of the reception of Cervantes' classic in India, a study on the history of its translation and an audiobook, read by Professor Shrikant Bahulkar.
In addition to the Director of Cervantes and the Spanish Ambassador to India, José María Ridao, the event will be attended by the son of the last Maraja of Kashmir, the diplomat and writer Karan Singh; the German professor and author of the publication, Dragomir Dimitrov; the grandson of one of the translators, Surindar Nath Pandita; and the professor of Sanskrit and Pali, Mahesh Deokar.
The programme of activities of the Director of the Instituto Cervantes in India will end on Thursday 7 July with a literary meeting at Sahitya Akademi, the Indian National Academy of Letters, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages of the South Asian country.
This visit contributes to strengthening relations with India, a country with a high demand for Spanish classes, as demonstrated by the figures for the New Delhi centre; inaugurated in 2009, it is currently the centre with the highest volume of teaching activity in the network, with almost 300,000 hours/student and more than 6,000 enrolments in the 2021/2022 academic year.
For this reason, the Instituto Cervantes will open in Bangalore, the fourth largest city in terms of population and considered the Silicon Valley of the country due to its numerous technology companies and research institutions, an extension of the Cervantes that will offer Spanish courses from 2023.
Submitted by José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo advisor.