‘Die Kotoba Potpourri’, the Inter-School Foreign Language Fest was held at Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram on 2nd February, 2016 to inculcate the love for foreign languages in students.Students of Classes VI to X, from 16 schools across the city, participated in the various competitive events held in the French, German and Japanese languages.

The fest was presided over by Ms. Caroline Schmitt, the Attachée for Cooperation in French Language, French Embassy; Mr. Kaoru Miyamoto, Director General at Japan Foundation, New Delhi; and Mr. Carl Jochen Dill, Head of Educational Studies at Goethe Institut. The panel of judges for the French events included Dr. Swati Dasgupta and Ms. Babusha Verma, professors at Delhi University; and Ms. Shilpa Gupta and Ms. Pooja Arora, assistant professors at OP Jindal University and Amity University respectively. The German judges were Manisha Buttan, Assistant Professor at Amity University, Noida; and Hema Gupta, Shivani Gupta and Aarti Chauhan from Goethe Institut Max Mueller Bhavan. Mr. Yasujiro Takei and Ms. Chisato Murakami, Japanese Language Advisors at Japan Foundation; and Dr. Nabin Panda, Associate professor and Ms. Anushree, Assistant professor at Delhi University’s Department of Asian Studies, were the judges for the Japanese events. Also present were the Principal, Dr. D.R. Saini and the Vice Principal Ms. Vanita Sehgal – who was also the event in-charge. The event coordinators were Ms. Nita Vijay Kumar, Ms. Surbhi Gaur and Ms. Payal Arora.

The fest comprised six events, two for each language. In French, a proverb-inspired skit competition, and a TV show enactment were held. Students of German were required to enact a didactic fable, and to recite renowned poems of the language. ‘’Ad Zap’’ and a moral story telling competition were held in Japanese.

The “Skit” was won by DPS R. K. Puram, while DPS Vasant Kunj came second, and DPS Noida third. DPS R. K. Puram won the first prize in “TV Show”, followed by Bal Bharti School, GRHM and DPS Indirapuram in the second and third places respectively. “Enact A Fable” was bagged by DPS R. K. Puram, the second position by DPS Rohini while the third prize went to Springdales School. DPS R. K. Puram secured the first position in “Poetry Recitation”, DPS Rohini came second while GD Goenka Public School, Vasant Kunj third. “Ad Zap” was won by DPS Greater Noida, followed by DPS R. K. Puram and DPS Sushant Lok in second and third position respectively. DPS Maruti Kunj came first in “Story Telling” while DPS R. K. Puram came second, and DPS Vasant Kunj third. The overall French winner was DPS R.K. Puram, which was the host school and therefore the trophy was passed on to DPS Noida; the German winner too was DPS R.K. Puram, and the trophy was passed on to DPS Rohini; and Japanese winner was DPS Maruti Kunj.

The Valedictory function commenced with scenes from a famous skit of Moliere’s ‘L’Avare’ by the students of Lycée Français de Delhi. Students of our school enthralled the audience with soulful renditions of a German song. The Principal, Dr. Saini, felicitated the guests; following which a report of the day’s events was read. The Principal addressed the gathering and spoke about the importance of unity of the world’s cultures. This was followed by a Japanese song. The first position holders of each event gave encores of their winning acts on stage to thunderous rounds of applause. Dancers of our school went on to mesmerize everyone with their performance of a French dance. Ms. Caroline Schmitt congratulated the participants on their enthusiasm and creativity, and stressed on the value of a foreign language as an asset in the globalised world. Mr. Kaoru Miyamoto spoke of overcoming pressures while performing and of the hope of seeing more students visiting Japan. Mr. Carl Jochen Dill quoted Charlemagne, “To know two languages is to possess a second soul,” and elaborated on how languages help to expand our intellectual horizon. The French Club’s magazine ‘Le Crayon d’or was launched by our esteemed guests, who went on to award prizes to the winners of the various events.

Ms. Vanita Sehgal delivered the vote of thanks. It was an enriching experience for everybody present, and the students left with a spirit of accomplishment and a reinvigorated passion for the language of their choice.