Panaji: Organisers of a week-long Indo-German friendship bash in Goa say they are upset at recent attempts to dissuade students from learning German in schools run by the central government.
Aruobindo Xavier, president of the Indo-German Friendship Society (IGFS)-Goa, a collective of German Goaphiles and Goans settled in Germany, said that learning a modern foreign language is a good skill anywhere in an increasingly global world.
"As president of this society which promotes the German language in Goa, I feel sad," Xavier told IANS.
"Learning any modern foreign language, like French, German, Spanish or Portuguese, in any country of the world is, in my opinion, a good additional skill in our globalised world," he added.
Goa, one of the best known beach tourism destinations in India, has in recent times hosted nearly 100,000 Russian tourists every year, but this week the flavour had a touch of German.
From December 7 to 13, a host of events have been organised by the society, all of them with German flavour, from musical performances, to German cuisine and drinks, to German Christmas baking classes, to lectures, to a film screening and to generally voicing other issues which concern Germans in Goa and Goan expats in Germany.
For music lovers, the Goan version of the Oktoberfest traditional German festival was held at Clube Vasco da Gama that has been in existence in capital Panaji (then Panjim) since the Portuguese era.
The festival was not only a song and dance affair with a German DJ belting out music, but also offered an opportunity to say "prost" or cheers in Goa with German beer, schnapps, grilled German sausage and of course Sauerkraut complete with pumpernickel and original Black Forest ham.
Academic engagements on Goan and German themes were also lined up, including a presentation by Ursula Kleinhans, a former official of Germany's science and technology ministry, who pitched the Goan business community to promote international science and technology projects in the European nation, which has just yet managed to beat the economic crisis.