Most of Indians are Bilinguals and feel PROUD about it.
One of the comments I heard quite often by my friends from West is "You guys are amazing. Every Indian speak atleast 2 languages.". They find it even more surprising when I say that I know 4 languages. I never thought about this ever before. We think this is very natural as we see everyone around us also know at the minimum of 2 languages. Then I did some research around this and got to know that there are many advantages of bilingualism. I found many articles, studies around this topic and I would like to highlight few points here:
1. One of the most important benefits I have personally experienced are - making connections is very easy when you speak in their language. In this global world, it is very common to settle down in the foreign countries like US, UK, Australia etc. I have seen many grand parents have trouble to make a closer relationship with their grand children living in those countries as most of those kids does not know their native language.
2. Travelling becomes much easier when you speak multiple languages. Side effect of this travel gives you an exposure to different cultures and backgrounds. Studies shows that bilingual children is better in understanding other's perspectives, thoughts, desires etc.
3. Studies shows that bilingual people are good at switching between tasks much easier as their brain is already trained to switch between languages continuously.
We often think that knowing English is enough and nowadays even schools force students to speak only in English. It is the right time to change that mindset and we should encourage our children to learn our native language too and even more nicer if they learn to write in that language also.
Language is much more beyond "communication". When you know your native language you will be able to appreciate your culture and about the your history much better.
Encourage your child to be a Bilingual!!!
- Nivetha Padmanaban