Nepal: Indigenous languages on the verge of extinction

“Our mother tongue Kisan is already near extinction,” says Bhim Kisan, a Master’s student in Linguistics at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Speaking to investigative journalist Dev Kumar, Bhim explains that few indigenous Kisan children speak the language of their ancestors. According to the National Census Report 2011, only 601 Kisans can speak Kisan of the total of 1,739 population.

As Dev discovered, the Kisan community are not alone in the gradual loss of their indigenous tongue; languages such Rai, Kusunda and Baram are rapidly being replaced with Nepali. Home to as many as 123 languages and therefore considered as a haven for linguistic studies, Nepal has a cultural interest in protecting its diversity of languages. 

Photo: Women pose at an event for indigenous people in Kathmandu, Nepal. Credit: Dev Kumar Sunuwar

Contact the author:

Dev Kumar Sunuwar

Email - devkumarmail@gmail.com 

Telephone - 977-9841666831

Dev Kumar's full report, featuring interviews with linguistic experts and Nepalese indigenous people, can be accessed by clicking the link below:

< back 

Date: 30/06/2014

Countries:

Nepal

Categories:

Language
Indigenous Peoples

This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union.
The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Minority Rights Group International and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union
Not-for-profit web design by Fat Beehive.