Bangladesh: Is a Cartoon Teaching Kids to Speak Foreign Language and Lie?

A cartoon show aired on the Disney Channel India has stirred debates in Bangladesh. The name of the Japanese anime (dubbed in Hindi) is Doraemon. It is claimed that this cartoon is forcing children to learn to speak the Hindi language of neighboring India and prompting them to tell lies. Many Bangladeshi children watch this cartoon, which is broadcast continuously and repeatedly.

If you read the story of a frustrated mother in The blog of a Mom [bn] you will understand how crazy are they for Doraemon:

My five year old son doesn't eat meals without watching Doraemon. He won't do homework or sleep timely if I don't let him watch.

Another mother sent a letter to the Daily Prothom Alo [bn]:

My eight year old son says he can't solve homeworks from school alone. He needs a robot like Doraemon who will accompany him and solve all his problems.

This cat robot is called Doraemon.

This cat robot is called Doraemon. Image from Wikimedia. CC BY-SA

‘Doraemon’ is a Japanese cartoon show derived from a popular Manga series which later became an anime series. The ear-less cat robot Doraemon travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, Nobita Nobi. The story starts from here.

Nobita is a very lazy boy and brings nothing but misfortune. Doraemon tries to help him using 22nd century gadgets. Nobita misuses the gadgets and gets into deeper trouble than before.

Doraemon stories are entertaining but it can be debated how much of them can be used for education purpose. Because many of the tips Doraemon gives to Nobita include cheating and telling lies.

Doraemon is broadcast in the region dubbed in Hindi via satellite. Due to prolonged exposure to this cartoon, many children have learnt to speak Hindi sentences. They even use Hindi when talking to their family members instead of their mother tongue Bangla. And this has created a long debate.

Many are claiming that these kids are learning to skip their study and cheat like the main character Nobita. This debate is spreading from mainstream media to individual living rooms. Many are demanding that the airing of Disney Channel should be stopped.

Kanak Barman [bn] at Somewhereinblog tells:

The biggest casualty of the Doraemon cartoon are the little kids, Who cannot even talk in Bangla fluently but are picking up Hindi nicely. This has threatened to that extent that if the airing of the channel is not stopped now then there will be more Hindi speakers than Bangla in this age group. So this channel should be blocked in Bangladesh as soon as possible.

On the other hand Shahriar Shafique [bn] at blames the lack of popular children program in Bangla language televisions for this situation:

There are more than 20 channels in Bangladesh but they don't have sufficient and quality childrens programs. As far I remember there are three good shows like Sisimpur, Meena, and Moner Kotha which are aired in BTV a few times a week. Desh TV also airs Meena cartoon and some other channels dubs Tom & Jerry cartoon shows. These few shows are popular but aired for shorter periods. The rest of the time of the day other programs like soap operas, news, talk shows, food shows and talent competitions are aired; which brings little value to the kids. Incomprehensible talk shows, kitechen matters or love-romance-tragedies do not attract the kids.

Blogger Fahmidul Haque [bn] does not think that Doraemon will threatened the Bangla language:

The Bangla language has an inherent force which protects itself from aggression of foreign language. When satellite TVs came in the early nineties people thought that the language and culture of this country will be ruined. But the local language and culture adjusted to the changes. Many Bangla language channels emerged. So we don't hear much about the most spoken term “alien culture” now. If Doraemon really is creating problems, the easiest solution is to buy the rights of the series and broadcast it after dubbing in Bangla.


  • […] Bangladesh: Cartoon Makes Kids Learn Foreign Language And LiesGlobal Voices OnlineIt is claimed that this cartoon is forcing children to learn to speak Hindi language of the neighboring India and prompting them to tell lies. Many kids of the country … […]

  • It’s very interesting to read this especially for someone like me who have been thinking that Doraemon is the symbol of friendship and unity of children. 

  • Kabirmaalam

    The serial’s most damaging aspect is that it is on air almost round the clock. No respite for the children. They can watch it anytime, even during the hours they are supposed to be studying. Learning Hindi is not a bad idea. The more language they learn, the more they develop. 

  • Tanha Islam

    I myself grew up watching Doraemon when I was young in Japan and it was one of my most favorite programs – I have neither learnt to cheat or lie (my friends and family can testify to that), nor has Japanese replaced Bangla as by native language.

    Kids pick up behaviours and mannerism from their surroundings. One little cartoon is not going to influence them as much as a parent or society is supposed to. Parents need to take more responsibility in the raising of their own kid, rather than blaming external factors.

    As for learning Hindi, with parents watching Hindi serials / movies day in and day out, one would be a hypocrite to lament this. You can hardly blame one program, when you are exposing your child to hindi serials and movies on a daily basis.

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  • Nasreen

    I rather find these accusations against Doreamon Fake. Children watch this one, because they can understand everything due to its Hindi translation. And kinds know Hindi better than English, just because their family watches lots of Hindi serial and movies. So, the blame of learning Hindi is rather a Hippocratic one. Moreover, is there anything bad if the kids learn a foreign language? If it would be English instead of Hindi, the parents would be delighted however. And people who are blaming Doreamon cartoon, they in fact never have watched the serial I believe. In every episode of Doreamon there is a lesson given. When Nobita gets zero in the test, he is not appreciated Nobita is shown as looser in a sense. Moreover, the story of Doreamon coming to NObita is based on the fact that, if Nobita does not study, his whole next generation will suffer. Therefore, someone from his future generation sends the robot to him (past) to help him out. Now here, comes the point that children demand robot to help them doing homework. Kids even ask for original planes too… so they may dream about having something like NObita. As as kid, I always had dream of having an elephant as a pet. And still now somewhere in my heart, I want one. So, there is no bad of asking another Doreamon in real life.

  • So First of all let me clear sumthing to newly married couples and those who have kids,why do u think your kid is in trouble vying doraemon or learning language.why not let ur children do that wasn’t possible when u were kid.learning another language isn’t a sin and it also doesn’t accour any trouble.let ur children talk in hindi and i want to remind u that bangla is not a toy which can be broke.100% of bangladesh talk in bangla so when ur child will learn to cumminicate with others he/she will learn bangla as well hindi is very important language.the condition of our country is not good either so many and many parents dream to give their child high education from foreign educational institute.And indians are widely spread all over the world so hindi will come handy when ur child grow up lol.and pls dont think childrens learn to cheat or tell lies from anime cartoons.the favour is on blood not the nature or anime.EVERY CHILDREN LIES and thinks he/she is very smart and its not a very big deal.coz why dont u remember ur childhood when u caused trouble to ur parents.if all childrens were born like essai (PBUH) than Allah would grow childrens from trees and learn to take responsibilities of ur children.yah and about fahima’s point,i do believe sisimpur ain’t a good cartoon for all type of children.In that case the government should make sumthing good for children but all they do is lick each others butt until one of them loses the chair of pm.even though pakistan is a poor country now.i have pakistani friends and some informed me that many places of pakistan donot have even place for senetary toilet and they use mud after toilet but still they have cool kids channel known as ‘Cartoon Network’.All i want to say is u should not stop ur children from learning about ain’t short during kids period so kids have plenty of time and letting ur kid watch half of an hour doraemon manga wont do alot harm to his sight,health,brain or behaviour and even thru he can become patriot of his own choice.Doraemon is very encouraging and adventureous manga for all age.i’m 16 and i like to watch doraemon pretty much.i also watched doraemon in japanese.its really delighting.And if u think my post is nothing but a sock than pls note that if you think hindi is really spreading thru ur kids mind and you want a solution than pls you too dont watch hindi songs infront of ur children coz nowadays many 7-8 year old kids been heard singing ulala,shilaki jawani moreover halkat jawanai.Thank you for reading my boring post and last thing i want to say is SAYONARA(GOODBYE).

  • Abdullah BM

    I think the best solution is to make an official cartoon channel in Bangla. In that there should be Lots of cartoons and Doraemon should not be aired everyday, it should be aired 4-5 days a week for only 1-2 hours. And other popular cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, etc should be translated in Bengali and shown. Atleast by that Children do not learn Hindi very at their age, which forces them to leave their Native Bengali Language.

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