In relation to my area of interest and specialization during my internship with TIG (languages), I have carefully selected the topic, “the khasi identity”, as my call to action. Not to mention, a special thank you to a friend, Prashant Das, who willingly granted support to this project, under the roof of PEEPAL (People for education, environment and progressive alliance), an organization recently started to support, develop and sustain ideas and work for the growth and the development of the youth in the North East of India and to my beloved brother Fabian.
With much thought and anticipation, I was happy to submit my proposal and have it approved over night by Sheridy!
The Hynniew Trep (which means "the seven huts" in the Khasi language), has survived for more than five centuries. The Khasi Tribe passed on the knowledge and experience of one era to the next by word-of-mouth. This ancient and collective wisdom, through the ages, is credibly the source of their life-force and of which their perpetual survival is a testimony. In 1900 A.D. the Khasi language became the first tribal language in the North East of India to be recognised for High School. Today, the Khasi language has been recognised up to the Doctorate -level by the North Eastern Hill University. For the past century, the Khasi language has developed and been given the status it deserves in the literary sphere, books have been written, Poems have been composed, plays have been staged too. Preserving this language denotes the preservation of its culture and everything that follows. Applaud a khasi mother who keeps a family of fifteen together with or without a man. The Matriarchal identity today is still permanent and strong, but not to forget, the men do have a say.
My project is channeled through the PEEPAL’s organization, where in a number of young people will be involved in this project. We have invited various kinds of information to be put up on the website focusing on write ups, pictures, resources such as books and music. An initiative has been taken into requesting a local school to conceptualize other fields of creating awareness on this subject through the making of bookmarks and paper cards, with khasi symbols, quotes etc. on them. This in turn will be distributed to those who perhaps would like to learn about this region and language and to the locals, a reminder about the importance of the sustenance of their identity.
On our POA, we include other ideas to implement such as workshops and exhibitions. This is just the beginning of our long term project.
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| Nov 16th, 2011
Well done. By keeping a language alive, the concerned culture will continue to exist.
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