The Yale Hindi Debate


Born as a student’s idea in a Yale classroom, the Yale Hindi Debate has grown exponentially, from an ambitious venture to an intellectual, cultural, and social institution. 
The debate was established as a Yale-only event in 2008, and now sees participation from faculty and students from USA’s preeminent schools, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Cornell, UCLA, Wesleyan, Rutgers, the University of Texas at Austin, and Wellesley College.

Our Approach:

The motion for the debate is determined after much deliberation, and through a democratic vote, collectively by faculty, board members, and participants.

On the day of the event, each speaker presents his or her own speech, which he or she has prepared in advance.  The speaker is allowed to consult notes, and even resort to casual, conversational Hindi.  The speaker speaks uninterrupted for 3 minutes.  Finally, after the speaker finishes his or her speech, an audience-member asks the speaker one question based on the speaker’s speech.

For the purposes of judging, there will be four distinct categories of speakers, and each speaker will compete only within his/her category.

  • Category 1: Non-Native Non-Heritage Undergraduate Speakers
  • Category 2: Non-Native Heritage Undergraduate Speakers
  • Category 3: Non-Native Non-Heritage & Heritage Graduate Speakers
  • Category 4: Native Undergraduate and Graduate Speakers

Silliman College at Yale - Source: Akhil Sud, SM '16