Nepal | November 30, 2020

Lohorung language on verge of extinction

Rastriya Samachar Samiti
Share Now:

Itahari, February 22

Indigenous Lohorung language, spoken by the Lohorung community in Province 1, is on the verge of extinction.

The Nepal Language Commission has listed Lohorung as ‘endangered’ language.

There are very few people who can fluently speak the language. Family of Balkrishna Lohorung Rai, 62, is an example. Balkrishna, originally from Pangwa village in Sankhuwasabha district, which is densely populated by the people of Lohorung community, can fluently speak his mother tongue. He is an ardent activist, who has been working to promote and preserve Lohorung language.

However, he can only speak his mother tongue with his wife Urmila. ‘’I have two sons. But, they can’t speak the language as we do. They can just understand few words and sentences,’’ he said.

Mohan Kumari Rai, 55, is another fluent Lohorung speaker. Professionally a primary school teacher at Kaseni Secondary School of Belbari, Morang, Mohan Kumari can talk in her mother tongue only with her nonagenarian fatherin-law, Amar Bahadur Rai.

‘’I also talk in my mother language with my husband Chakra Bahadur Rai occasionally.

But, he is not a fluent speaker,’’ she said. Mohan Kumari was born and raised in a Lohorung-majority village, Diding Danda in Sankhuwasabha. She has five siblings, two brothers and three sisters, none of whom are fluent speakers of the language.

Based on Nepal’s census-2011, there are only 3,633 Lohorung speakers in the province. This number has not increased due to social and economic factors, said Bigyan Rai, a fluent Lohorung speaker from Itahari, Sunsari. “Lohorung people are getting married with people from other communities.

This has adverse impact on their mother tongue,” he said.

Besides, marriage, migration is another reason for declining population of Lohorung speakers, said Balkrishna, who teaches his mother tongue to younger people of the community.

‘’These days people from our community migrate to urban areas of Nepal and abroad for job and permanent settlement. This has decreased the number of people speaking the indigenous language spoken for centuries,” he said.

Dictionary, digital content and school textbooks in Lohorung could save the language from going extinct, according to Mohan Kumari. She added Lohorung language needs strong support from the local government and early education in mother tongue would help to preserve the language.

Balkrishna said bringing out a well-researched dictionary and sufficient digital content could help preserve minority indigenous languages like Lohorung.


A version of this article appears in print on February 23, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Mahrez hat-trick as Man City thrash Burnley 5-0 yet again

MANCHESTER: Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City hammered Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday -- the fourth straight time Pep Guardiola's side have beaten the Clarets at home by that scoreline. City had netted just 10 goals in their open Read More...

Oli counters Dahal with 38-page salvo

Oli raises a host of issues and questions Dahal’s role in relation to them KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today presented a 38-page long rebuttal to party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s 19- page proposal saying Dahal’s proposal had led to a serious crisis in the party a Read More...

Record-setting week at Nepse

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The country’s sole secondary market witnessed a number of records broken in the trading week between November 22 and 26, with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index surging by 6.47 per cent or 115.13 points week-on-week to scale to a new peak. Opening at 1,778.12 p Read More...

Raphinha's late strike gives Leeds victory at Everton

LIVERPOOL: Brazilian winger Raphinha scored his first goal for Leeds United to give his side a 1-0 win in an eventful Premier League game full of disallowed goals and superb saves at Goodison Park on Saturday. With England manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands, Everton keeper Read More...

MoFAGA

MoFAGA formulates procedure to enhance public accountability

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has formulated procedure related to public accountability promotion for its implementation at the local levels. The procedure aims to enhance the public accountability of local governments by making elected repre Read More...

‘Chandragadi airport to be upgraded as per new DPR’

JHAPA, NOVEMBER 28 Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai today said upgradation of Chandragadi airport would be carried out as per the latest detailed project report. Upon receiving a memo submitted by Save Chandragadi Airport Committee, Minister Bhattarai clarified tha Read More...

Jagadamba steel

Industrial blast injures four

BARA, NOVEMBER 28 At least four labourers were injured in an explosion at a furnace of Jagadamba Steel in Jitpursimara sub-metropolis of Bara today. The four persons, including two Indians, were injured in the incident that took place early this morning. The injured have been identified as Read More...

Cold store being built

DHARAN, NOVEMBER 28 Construction of a cold store in Sunsari’s Barahachhetra Municipality has reached the final stage, signalling an end to the plight of having to take local products elsewhere for storage. Sunsari’s Barahachhetra has developed wards in the plains and prioritised livestock Read More...