New Delhi, July 31 IANS | 3 months ago

In an endeavour to make languages like Pahari, Gujree, Dogri, Kohistani and Sheikhagal from Jammu and Kashmir accessible to a wider audience and introduce them to their rich folklore, a group has developed a website that will be launched Aug 5.

This could be one of the first initiatives to document languages from Jammu and Kashmir to make younger generation learn various dialects, poems, songs and folklore that have been a part of their culture.

This initiative is the brain child of Baramulla-based Asiya Zahoor, who with a few students have put together the website

As an assistant professor, it was during one of her volunteering stints at a remote village in Baramulla district that she came across with writers in Pahari, Gujree and Kashmiri.

"These rich languages are an integral part of our culture. There is a lot of literature in Pahari language but in the absence of any valid translations, their accessibility is restricted to those who know the script," Zahoor told IANS over phone.

This was when she decided to make an effort to document languages and expressions of the region.

"We will also be uploading a Kashmiri dictionary online. There will be videos of songs in various languages that will have original script with translations," said Zahoor.

Like if one goes into Sheikhagal language, it has various sections - basic conversation, idioms and phrases, prose and short stories, she said.

Where as Kashmiri section first introduces the readers to the origin of widely spoken language of the Valley - Koshur, she said.

Then it introduces the readers to the famous Kashmiri poets like: Sher Ali Mashghool, Maqbool Firozi, and Habba Khatoon.

Zahoor admits this is just the start and they are hoping many people will come forward to join this linguistic journey.

"When you see the younger generation is reading western literature and its folklore and has no idea about their own vibrant past, you know that something is amiss," said Zahoor.

"We are just a small group, who has put this up together without any outside help. This is just the beginning, hope many people will join this incredible journey," she added.

(Posted on 31-07-2014)

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