Mangaluru: It is the elders who teach the younger people lessons of life, but here at the University College, Hampankatta campus, the roles have been reversed. Here, the elderly in the age group between 60 to 70 years are students and youth between the age group of 30 to 40 years are teachers. That is the beauty of MA Tulu classes that are being held at the college between 5 pm to 9 pm.
Though there are few students in their 20s as well, the majority are elderly who are mostly enjoying their retired life.
As Mangalore University has started post-graduation course in Tulu language in 2018-19 in University College in Hampankatta, a total of 18 students joined the course and they are now in second year MA. But this year, 20 students joined the course and they are studying in first year. These 20 have proved that age is only a number and it has nothing to do with the determination to learn new things in life.
Mani M Rai of Mangaluru, who was working in Gulf country for a few years and returned to his homeland has joined the course. He says though he was not eager to obtain post-graduation degree in Tulu language, his zeal of studying more about Tulu language, culture and tradition has brought him here. "Tulu language is just like an ocean. There was a lot of information one needs to study in Tulu. We are blindly practising some culture and tradition. We need to first respect what we have got," he said.
Subhashchandra Kanvatheertha, retired principal of Ramakunja College informed that Tulu language should obtain universal acceptance. “There is no end to studies and even if Tulu is my mother tongue, I would want to learn about it," he said. Kanvatheertha is composing state anthem in Tulu language now.
‘I became a student after five decades’
Meet 72-year-old litterateur and dramatist Shivananda Karkera. Speaking to NewsKarnataka.com, he said that it was his dream to secure post-graduation in Tulu language. "I have returned to a classroom after five decades and it is a whole new experience. When I joined the course, I thought I know each and everything about Tulu and there is nothing new to study, but, when I go through the syllabus, I feel that I know very little about this rich language. Though we know fundamental knowledge on Tulunadu, Bhoota kola, Pad’dana, Sandhi among others, this course enables us to understand the language in a very systematised manner," he said.
Tulu MA coordinator Dr B Shivaram Shetty says that the zeal that the elderly bring into the classroom is contagious. "They are here to learn. They do not have any other purpose behind learning the language. More researches should be coming out from the students who pursue education now. That is the only way our Tulu language can reach greater heights in future," he said.
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