A group of diplomats from Washington who visited Indian market in Edison and Jersey City in New Jersey were recognized at an event held on March 3rd at TV Asia studios in Edison, New Jersey.
The five U.S. diplomats showcased their Hindi speaking proficiency much to the surprise of the audience of prominent community members and professionals. The diplomats studied Hindi at the Foreign Service Institute run by the State Department, prior to their postings in India.
Michael Rosenthal, Political Unit Chief, Office of India Affairs, U.S. Department of State, who led the group, said that he and his colleagues were due for their posting in India in the coming months. “We are learning Hindi and Indian culture at the Foreign Service Institute run by the State Department”, he told the audience.
Thousands of U.S. diplomats attend language and culture classes prior to their overseas postings. Rosenthal said that as a part of his language studies he and his four colleagues visited shops and interacted with businessmen in Jersey City and Edison townships.
Addressing the gathering, Nathaniel Farrer, a member of the group, who spoke in Hindi said he and his colleagues enjoyed watching Hindi movies and often debated about the acting talents of Bollywood actors. “We are yet to agree about who among Amir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan is the better actor”, he joked.
The evening also included an outreach event hosted by the Consulate General of India in New York. The event was facilitated by Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, deputy consul general, who announced that people of Indian origin, who are living in the U.S. on a refugee status, will soon be able to travel to India with a valid travel visa. Mohapatra said the consulate was working on a 24 hours and seven days a week basis in order to provide timely assistance to individual visa seekers, who were in dire and unique situations. He invited applicants to open houses at the consulate so that their issues could be resolved. The consulate holds open houses every first and third Wednesday of every month.