About Dutch Studies at JNU:
The JNU Dutch Studies Program was set up in the summer of 2013 with the help of the Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi and the Dutch Language Union. It is the first programme in Dutch at an Indian university.
The Dutch Studies Programme is part of the Centre of German Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University and is housed at the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies.
About current Dutch lector, Mathieu Bokestael:
I grew up in Belgium in a French-Dutch bilingual family close to Brussels. I have studied in Brussels, Leuven and Belfast and thus also speak English fluently. In addition I also have a receptive knowledge of German and Spanish and am also trying to pick up some Hindi. I hold an undergraduate degree in English and Dutch literature and linguistics, as well as two masters, one in western literature and one in cultural studies. In the past, I have worked for the Passa Porta Festival, Belgium’s most important literary festival, and for the first Brussels edition of the Cinema Bioscoop Festival, a festival aiming to bring Dutch-language films and culture to a non-native audience. With the Dutch programme at JNU, I now aim to do the same: to bring a new culture, way of life and perspective to the students of New Delhi.
Contact me at:
Jawaharlal Nehru University
School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies
Centre of German Studies
phone: 011 26704643
About the founder of the Dutch programme, Chrissy Hosea:
I was born and raised in the Netherlands, grew up in Friesland and studied in Amsterdam, where I started working as a teacher of Dutch as a Second Language. I am of Chinese descent and both my parents were born in Indonesia. After receiving my MA in Applied Linguistics from the Free University in Amsterdam, I moved to the United States to head the Dutch Program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 2011, I moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to set up the new Dutch Studies Program at Yale University where I was involved in synchronous distance learning pilot as part of the Shared Course Initiative by Columbia, Cornell and Yale University (see below). In 2013, I took up the challenge of setting up a Dutch Program at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.
I speak Dutch and English, some Indonesian, German and French, and I understand Frisian and Afrikaans. I am currently trying to learn Hindi.
I love language as a phenomenon, because it reflects the uniqueness of the people who use it. It invites one to be creative, playful, but is extremely hard to grasp and yet so simple that a six-year-old has most of the basics down. It is the gateway into another culture and a different way of looking at the world, and therefore cannot but promote understanding and tolerance for others. But at the same time, learning a new language is tough and it requires you to adapt and change yourself ever so slightly. People struggling to express themselves in a foreign language can feel very frustrated, apprehensive and alienated.
I believe that language learning should be hard work and fun at the same time. Students have to feel at ease and comfortable enough to make mistakes in the classroom. I love teaching and trying out creative ways to help the students.
I enjoy learning about people, comparing peoples and their customs and trying to find out what makes someone tick, which, at the same time, teaches me quite a bit about myself and my own culture.