Sunday, December 11, 2016

Different languages at my school

by Shaswat Badal

9 December 2016

In our school, we have different languages just as we have different languages in our country. Though there are very few of us, we are learning so much from each other. Somebody speaks Nepali and somebody Rai. I am learning to speak Maithali because my family is from the Sarlahi plains and I have heard my mother speak this language in the villages. Kushma and Sushmita speak Tamang. Our small school has people from different parts of Nepal. Utu is a Newar who does not know any Newari so he is learning that from Ashmi and Saroni maam, our teachers who are also Newar. Pukar’s father lives and works in India so he has been there and is learning Hindi. Of course, we have to speak and write in English.

People are different in Nepal. Some are good and some are bad. Newars usually come from the Kathmandu valley area and some are Tharu and come from the Terai and speak in different languages of their area. Sherpas come from the mountains. Pallav sir says there are 110 ethnic groups in our country and we have 55 different languages. Some of our people have different types of homes. Some make homes of rock, some of bricks, some of wood, some of bamboo, and some even of grasses and mud. They wear different clothes and some do not have much to wear at home so they go to work and get money so they can also buy better homes and work in big offices.
Nepal has three geographic zones, mountains, hills, and plains. In these three zones we have different peoples and different languages. At our school, we are represented by all three zones.

1. Rai (Abin Rai) come from the hills to the east. They live in mid and upper hills. They have their own religion and they worship their ancestors. Their clothes, music, food is also different. Abin, my friend, is a Rai and he is learning to say things in his language in front of us. He is very hard working.

2. Newar (Utkristha Mulmi) comes from the Kathmandu Valley. Newar people are very complicated in terms of religion, culture, clothes, food, language and much more. But Utu does not know how to speak Newari. Luckily our teachers Ashmi and Saroni are Newar so they are teaching him and he says, “I find learning Newari a lot of fun and it is also very hard.”

3. Maithali (me). My family comes from Sarlahi where the villagers speak Maithali language. It is a very very old civilization and is very rich. I used to hear my mother speak this language with others in the village but I did not know how to speak. Bhagwati maam is fluent in speaking, reading, and writing in Maithali and I am learning from her. “Hamne music sikaichi” means I am learning music.

4. Tamang (Kushma and Sushmita) come from a warrior clan. I learned in our social sharing class that when Prithvi Narayan Shah wanted to unite Nepal, he had ground troops but no horse riders so no cavalry. He brought in horse riders from Tibet and with them he was very successful at war. These warriors later settled in Nepal and that is perhaps why Sushmita is very good at boxing. They speak and sing in Tamang language.

5. Nepali (Niva Poudel). Of course, this is our national language so we speak it. We are learning many songs in Nepali, we read our text books, we read newspapers and poems. And Neeva, especially, is working in Nepali during our presentations.

6. English (Nitya Poudel). Terry Miller takes our English class every week on Skype. We have visitors coming here. We watch movies every week. We read books and articles. Nitya is now learning, with Utu, to collect all our blogs, to organize them, and to edit them so they are ready for Ashmi maam and Bidhan sir finalize. Abin and Kushma as well as I and Utu take photographs and select them and are learning to put them up on our blog site.

I am proud to be a Nepali! I am proud to be exposed to such wonderful languages, cultures, and my friends.

Thank you for reading this!

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