LUBRANG- An outreach programme on ‘Awareness of Mother Tongue’ was organised by a team of researchers from the Centre for Endangered Languages (CFEL), Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS), Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) for the Brokpa community of Lubrang Village of Dirang Circle in West Kameng District, on Sunday.
The programme, conducted in collaboration with the North Eastern Council, was part of the month-long field research under the ongoing project on ‘Documentation of endangered language, oral narratives, and cultures of lesser-known tribal communities of Arunachal Pradesh’.
The research team consists of four research associates and one research assistant. Two documentary films titled, “Fading Tongue of the East?” and “The Songs We Sing, The Drums We Beat” on Meyor and Kaasik (Nocte) communities respectively, both directed by Kombong Darang and produced by the CFEL, were screened at the community hall here.
During the programme, Dr Tame Ramya Tarh while speaking on the importance of preserving one’s mother tongue and cultural heritage, said that a language is not just a tool for communication but a vehicle for culture and heritage. It symbolises one’s identity, safety, grounding, and birth. He asserted that continue to speaking one’s mother tongue at home and in village domains is the most effective measure to safeguard it.
Citing the National Education Policy’s objective on the promotion of mother tongues, he urges the Panchayat members and Community-Based Organisations of the village to request the government to introduce Brokpa as a third language in schools in line with other communities of the state. Mr Kaling Dabi highlighted the vulnerability of the languages of Arunachal Pradesh. He also urges the community to cooperate in research endeavours in future as well and informed the villagers that all output of the research shall be shared with the community.
Brokpa is one of the lesser-known languages under the Monpa ethnic identity of Arunachal Pradesh. The UNESCO’s Language Vitality and Endangerment Framework (2003) classified the Brokpa (Monpa) language as a ‘critically endangered language’ based on a smaller number of speakers. Their culture is on the verge of extinction since a majority of the community members are slowly denouncing their ancestral customs and traditions,” a release added.