Making the Argument for Sanskrit

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Mon Jan 15 21:08:05 UTC 2007

JN schrieb:
> I agree, that it is necessary to make this difference. But for our 
> Institute, which traditionally had and still retains a strong focus on 
> Sanskrit the numbers are much better. I think the present beginners 
> course for Sanskrit has about 30 or more students regularly attending. 
> Given the fact, that this is practically unbearable for reasonable 
> instruction, we even would need an additional Sanskrit teacher, which 
> we can only dream of. The question how many of these students will 
> take an examination oor even a degree is however another one. We have 
> seen and still see many students giving up for a variety of reasons. 
> Economic problems were certainly a factor of increasing importance 
> during the last years.
A similar observation holds good for the Institute for South Asian, 
Tibetan and Buddhist Studies in Vienna. The number of students who 
enrolled in beginner's Sanskrit increased to such an extent that this 
winter term, two parallel courses were needed and could fortunately also 
be offered. (The maximum number of students for a course was set at 30.)

As Jürgen Neuss rightly points out, it is of course another question how 
many students will successfully complete the course, but the large 
numbers of initial enrollment show that interest in Sanskrit is far from 
non-existent. One might actually be led to believe that classical 
Tibetan would draw more students, given the great popularity of all 
things Tibetan in society at large, but this is currently not the case, 
at least not in Vienna.

Best regards,

Birgit Kellner

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