USP lecturer awarded for language revival in Fiji Hindi
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Fiji’s High Commissioner to the United States His Excellency Winston Thompson after conferring the award on Associate Professor Dr Mohit Prasad during the Fiji Day Celebrations at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, Canada on August 9.
A lecturer at The University of the South Pacific has been awarded a distinguished award for contributions to language revival in the Fiji diaspora by the Fiji Canada Day Celebrations Board (FCDCB).
The Fiji High Commissioner to the United States His Excellency Winston Thompson conferred the award on Associate Professor Dr Mohit Prasad during the Fiji Day Celebrations at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, Canada on August 9.
The award was recognised at the Canadian Federal and British Columbia Provincial Government levels.
Canadian Federal Member of Parliament Honourable Jasbir Sandhu added a second conferment of the award through his office.
The British Columbia Provincial Government Level award was made through the Member of the Legislative Assembly Honourable Sue Hammell.
Dr Prasad, an Associate Professor with USP’s Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, was also an official guest of Ms Hammell at the British Columbia (B.C) Parliament House at Victoria on Friday 15 August.
The official conferment took place in the Parliament House by Hon Hammell.
Dr Prasad conducted a preliminary survey of language loss among the Fiji diaspora in Surrey, Canada during this trip. He is proposing to study language loss among third and fourth generation members of the Fiji diaspora apart.
USP’s Associate Professor Dr. Mohit Prasad at the British Columbia Parliament during the conferment ceremony by Member of the Legislative Assembly Honourable Sue Hammell on August 15.
He is also investigating a possible collaboration with Canadian researchers on a case study of multiple migrant language loss/suicide among children born of intermarriages between the Fiji diaspora with other migrant races, including settlers.
His proposed research will be confined to Surrey in Vancouver, Canada that has high numbers of the Fiji diaspora resident there.
The awards recognised his contributions through the Kaise Baat series on Fiji Hindi and its current expansion into the Noda Vosa programme to research language loss and revival in the Fiji Diaspora to include Fijian and other spoken languages from Fiji.
The Kaise Baat series was initiated at USP by Dr Prasad in 2012 to promote language revival and sustainability for Fiji-Hindi. The innovative programme that fuses academic research with community engagement has attracted attention from language revival specialists, including those based at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.
The award citation read:
‘On behalf of FDCC Board and the Fijian Community in Canada we are pleased to officially award Dr. Mohit Prasad of The University of South Pacific (Fiji) and to confer upon him the “Award of Outstanding Contributions to the Fijian Diaspora – through Fijian Language Revival”. This award recognises his contributions to language revival in Fiji Hindi through the “Kaise Baat” series initiated in Fiji at The University of the South Pacific.’
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