It is estimated that 50 per cent of the world’s languages are endangered, which means there are fewer people who are speaking a particular language. One language disappears every two weeks! World over the people are embracing those languages that bring them economic prosperity and helps them to earn livelihood. In the modern globalised world it is the domination of three languages—English, Chinese, and Spanish that take the toll of local vernacular languages. By adopting industrialised mode of production and copying western civilisation we are forcing the people to follow a single monolithic way of life that is devoid of diversity. This urge to follow the uniform pattern of life and culture has no space or respect for diversity of languages.
According to Unesco “there is a fundamental linkage between language and traditional knowledge. Local and indigenous communities have elaborated complex classification systems for the natural world, reflecting a deep understanding of their local environment.” It cautions that these will be lost when a community shifts to another language. The local languages have the better capacity to adopt and evolve strategies to arrest the biodiversity loss. It is now recognised that the local language can be an effective tool towards sustainable conservation and management of biodiversity.
Recognising the need for conservation of diverse languages and mother tongues the Unesco has adopted a resolution to celebrate February 21 as World Mother Language Day. This is in memory of those people who sacrificed their lives on February 21, 1952 in Bangladesh, for the sake of Bengali being recognised as national language in erstwhile East Pakistan.
These lofty goals remain on paper and the ground reality presents a dismal scenario. The present trend of neo liberalisation has taken a toll of local languages. According to Bhasha, an organisation working on conserving the oral traditions of marginalised communities, a total of 1,652 mother tongues were documented in the Census of 1961. Several hundreds are not even traceable today! Where and how have they become extinct? Unfortunately, our policy makers have no clue about the causes for the demise of these diverse languages.
In February 2010, as the world was preparing to launch International Year of Biodiversity, Boa Senior, the only speaker of Bo language in Andaman Islands passed away. With her death, a 70,000 year old language, a unique heritage of mankind became extinct. With this extinction we not only lost a language, but lost an entire knowledge system, which was different from the industrial age.
These are clear indicators of extinction of the languages. The phenomenon is not limited to ancient languages but there is lingering threat to existing vernacular languages spoken by thousands of people. Nevertheless, India is about to witness a further decimation of the languages as a majority of the people embrace the dominant language of English or Hindi. It is high time that we need to understand the close linkages of biodiversity and languages and heed the call of Unesco to take help of these diverse languages to rescue biodiversity before both become extinct.
"a total of 1,652 mother tongues were documented in the Census of 1961. Several hundreds are not even traceable today!" That is a shame. Culture and nature are deeply interrelated to languages, for sure their extinction consequently brings lack of important information. Another down side of extreme and violent globalization :(
Wednesday 27 February 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
Posted by Ramya Ranganathan
Ramya visited Honnavar with her family and touched with Hanmi's simplicity and her all time weaving spirit ..It is like a meditation for her ..over and over... !!!
She weaves together these strands of paddy
She weaves together these blades of grass
She weaves her hopes and dreams together
As today seamlessly into tomorrow does pass
Oblivious to all she just weaves on
With concentrated precision and dedication
With single-minded focus she makes each move
Creating her art with love and conviction
It looks like she does not need to rest
It looks like this itself is her rest
She appears to gain and spend energy
As she gives her work her very best
This is her art and her identity
It is her work and her play
She is steeped in it, immersed it in
As she gives to it, her all today
This is craft, this giving of all
This is craft, this act of creation
This is craft, using material as medium
To the sense the souls urge and give it vision.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Hanmi is the one of the few artists who has mastered the oral epic songs and other verbal art. She belongs to Gamokkalu tribe from Uttara Kannada district Karnataka .Sadly now Hanmi is the only person in her community who can sing the entire Mahabharata and we are losing time .
There is a need to document not only the oral literature of this tribe but it is equally important to document the way they sing, the tunes and the contexts to understand the culture and tradition of this tribe .The treasure trove for the next generation.
Monday, June 18, 2012
The Art of Traditional Quilt Making with Nirmalakka—3-Day Workshop@ Bangalore
Mark your calendars! Due to countless requests, Nirmalakka will be returning to Bangalore to present her 3-Day Quilting Workshop.
Quilts and other-cloth-based narratives are part of many cultures. Nirmalakka, who hails from the village of Haliyal in Uttara Kannada district, uses her expertise in needlecraft to make traditional quilts that have passed down from mothers to daughters from generation to generation. She will not only share her techniques and patterns in the process of stitching these traditional fabrics, but also share her customs and colourful heritage with you.
Now you can also have the opportunity to join Nirmalakka; and with her guidance, you also can appreciate this old, magnificent tradition while weaving your own stories through fabric. Please join us—whether you are a novice or an expert in quilt creations. You will enjoy spending time with Nirmalakka and making a mini quilt of your own.
The details are given below, but please contact us directly for further information and registration. Due to the intimate, hands-on process of quilting, we do have limited space; however, we would love for you and your friends to join us.
The Art of Quilt Making with Nirmalakka—3-Day Workshop
Date: August 3-5, 2012
Time: 10am - 5pm
Venue: #117, Vakil Garden City, Near Talagattapura Police Station, Kanakpura Road, Bangalore
Pl send an email if you are interested and for more info on this workshop
For more info on Quilt making and other programs, please view these links:
Saturday, April 28, 2012
We are proud to inform you that we have added another location to the buDa Folklore Map. We are setting foot in Angadibail ,Ankola! In addition to our existing centre at Honnavar, the new one at Ankola will offer students and researchers a wider perspective on folk culture, environment and sustainable development.
While we are in the process of making the Folklore Research and Study centre at Angadi bail functional by June 2012, we would like to have volunteers to help us set-up our new unit.
buDa folklore have come out with a new set up @Angadibail 40km from Ankola town spread over in 16 acres of fertile land and surrounded by western Ghats and picturesque of hills.
Water is abundant in the form of streams and natural fountains
1. Green architecture and design - Starts in the month of May
Existing building requires modification in way that reflects Sustainable architecture with traditional construction methods under the lens of environmental consciousness Infrastructure Building. In the area of engineering, design and architecture - We are looking for enthusiasts, specialists and professionals who can design: an art & interaction space community kitchen and utility space , rooms / dormitories for visiting students, artisans and facilitators. and eco-friendly toilets and bathrooms.,
We want volunteers who are open to brainstorm ideas, draw-up a blueprint and guide the local folk in implementation of the plan and construction. For the construction, we would like to use locally available material to ensure it is sustainable, conducive for the local environment and cost effective.
Volunteers will be provided,
• Simple food and basic accommodation during the stay.
• Support of the locals in the construction activity
• Construction material
2. Livelihood programme – Starts in the month of May
It is the season for kokum fruit and the local villager’s largely ignore the value of this fruit .They dry the fruit in an unhygienic way any sell in the local market for throw away prices They are not equipped with modern processing methods to preserve the juice and bottling techniques
The seeds were used to make kokum butter which has great medicinal value and we lost this tradition.
In the area of sustainable development, engineering and food science we are looking for enthusiasts, and specialists who can help us preserve the Kokum fruit that is available in plenty in this part of the Western Ghats.
Kokum is used to make a local delicacy called solkadi and is also used to make a great cooling health drink - Kokum juice/Sherbet. These delicacies can be made round the year provided the fruit is dried and preserved in the summer months. We would like volunteers to teach and demonstrate to the local village women - hygienic, simple and cost effective ways to dry and preserve this fruit. In the long run, this could also provide an alternate means of livelihood for the village folk.
Volunteers will be provided,
Volunteers will be provided,
• Simple food and basic accommodation during the stay.
• Support of the locals in the food processing activity
• Materials required in building a simple drying unit.
The above-mentioned project – “Preserving the kokum fruit” is an urgent requirement. We would like to initiate this project as soon as possible as the fruiting season slows down by end of May.
3. Research and Documentation of the Kare okkalu community.
We are documenting the culture and folklore of kare-okkalu community who live in this belt. Individuals who know both Kannada and English and passionate about indigenous culture may apply. Individuals with a prior fieldwork experience will have an added advantage.
Volunteers will be provided
· Simple food and basic accommodation during the stay.
· Local travelling allowance
4. Upcoming programmes and projects:
We also need volunteers for upcoming programmes such as
-To run community based study tour programmes mainly for schools and gap year students. The volunteers’ roles have included designing and anchoring study programs for the students and various workshops for the community.
In addition to work, the volunteer will also be expected to produce an article, drawings or photo essay about an aspect of their experience and learning. This is for publication on buda website ,our blogs and publications
Please note that volunteers will have to make their travel arrangements to Ankola. Ankola is very well connected by KSRTC and private buses from Bangalore.
Individuals, who are interested in volunteering for either of the above programs, please contact us email@example.com
How to reach there
In the Google map search for buD folklore or click the following URL link
At present, there is a small outhouse with two rooms; one room is being used as kitchen. There is a siddi family looking after the place. They will cook for us and we need to provide the rations.