Languages of Kohistan (Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan, 1)

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Languages of Chitral 18 Edelberg and Jones report Gujars moving into Afghanistan from the Lutkuh Valley, but the presence of Gujars northwest of Chitral town was not confirmed in this study. Morgenstierne made mention of Gujars in Chitral, but other than checking a few words he did no further study on Gujari. A more thorough study of Gujari in northern Pakistan is found in volume 3 of this series Hallberg and OLeary Data was collected at various times from to Israr-ud-Din says that the spread of Gujars in southern Chitral has been within this century and that they came from Dir, Swat, and Hazara areas.

Their entry into Chitral must have been earlier than the beginning of this century, however, because Robertson reported that in the late s the Mehtar of Chitral was responsible for moving Gujars into the neighboring region of Nuristan in Afghanistan. Gujars were observed herding goats for Kalasha in the Bumboret Valley. Israr-ud-Din reports that the Gujars Chapter 1 Introduction 19 do not own their own land but lease it from others.

Those that have moved down around Drosh work as servants and laborers. Israr-ud-Din estimates that there are speakers of Gujari in Chitral. A participant in this study from Nagar reported that about 60 of the homes in Nagar are Gujar. There are about 18 Khowar-speaking villages alternating in position with the 14 Gujar villages in the Shishi Koh Valley.

Torwali (Turvali) — Deutsch

In the lower Chitral Valley, south of Mirkhani, there are several small clusters of homes of Pashto speakers living near the Gujars, as well as Shekhani, Dameli, and Gawar-bati speakers. Respondents reported that very few speakers of other languages learn to speak Gujari, although some claim to be able to understand some Gujari. The Kirghiz 13 In the same article, Faizi mentions that there are Sarikoli Ismailis living nearby, but nothing more is known about these families. Sarikoli is a Pamir language in the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.

They reportedly came to Chitral in the s as a result of Soviet military raids upon their homeland. According to Faizi, they live a difficult life relying on help from neighboring Wakhi speakers.

Online Languages Of Kohistan Sociolinguistic Survey Of Northern Pakistan 1

Kirghiz is a Turkic language in the Altaic family. The Kirghiz people are Sunni Muslims. However, in recent years, it has been spreading into Chitral and influencing the sociolinguistic situation; thus some information concerning Pashto is applicable to this study. Hallberg has reported on the dialects of Pashto in volume 4 of this series.

Revitalization of endangered music—a case of Torwali music

In Chitral, there are small, scattered Pashtoon villages, or simply clusters of homes, along the Chitral River between Langorbat and Mirkhani. See map 4. This section of the Chitral River runs through a narrow gorge and there is little arable land. This forced some of the smaller language groups to move north, particularly the Gawar. Morgenstierne reported that in Chapter 1 Introduction 21 there were only a few Pashto-speaking settlers in the Ashret Valley, possibly having moved there from Dir.

Several Pashtoons were interviewed for this study; they reported that their families had lived in Chitral for many years, probably immigrating in the s. Munnings notes that in past decades the Pashtoons who immigrated to Chitral for business would learn Khowar to be able to communicate with their customers, but that more recent immigrants and refugees do not learn Khowar.

Instead, their customers learn Pashto to communicate with them. Pashtoons generally prefer marriages within their own group, but many of the non-Pashtoon respondents reported having Pashtoon relatives.

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Munnings observes that people in Chitral seem to have a general dislike for Pashtoons and their language. Some Chitralis reported that they prefer to use Urdu or Khowar with a Pashtoon unless he is monolingual in Pashto. However, they will learn Pashto if they are in a situation which requires it, such as living in Peshawar or some areas of southern Chitral.

It is the national language of Pakistan, the medium of higher education in government schools, the language of many government functions, and the language of wider communication throughout the country, including newspapers and radio. To gain a coveted civil service position one must have a knowledge of Urdu, but outside of its use in infrequent civil interactions such as speaking with a policeman Languages of Chitral 22 from the Panjab Province , in school or for reading and writing most people in Chitral have no need for Urdu.

Nevertheless, Urdu retains the prestige of being the symbol of national unity and the badge of literacy and education for the different language groups in Chitral. It is, however, an international language with great prestige. Some private schools use English as the medium of instruction, and in the government schools, it is an important language of higher education.

Because it is an unofficial language of many government functions, knowledge of English is useful for getting a civil service job. Some English is also useful for anyone who wishes to deal with foreign tourists who visit Chitral. For these reasons, some people in Chitral have a strong desire to learn English and to have their children educated in an English-medium school Munnings However, it has great prestige as a religious language for Muslims. Many people gain some degree of proficiency in Arabic for studying religious books.

The future of these language groups will be drastically altered if these refugees settle permanently in Pakistan. Three of these languages, Sawi, Munji, and Kamviri, are discussed more fully in other chapters. The Gawar-bati speaking community, which has been present historically in a few villages in both Pakistan and Chapter 1 Introduction 23 Afghanistan, has also been significantly impacted.

These changes are the most recent examples in the long history of such people movements in South and Central Asia. It remains to be seen what the long term effects will be on the sociolinguistic environment of Chitral and on the linguistic map of Pakistan. The view has been a limited one: limited by an outsiders viewpoint, limited by time, and limited in scope.

There are many factors at work, some affecting the maintenance of languages, others causing language shift. There are increasing language choices available to the people of Chitral. Most of the people are proud of their particular language and desire that it be maintained as part of their ethnolinguistic identity. Along with such interests in protecting their unique cultures, many language group spokesmen expressed a desire for economic and educational development in Chitral.

There is a low literacy rate within Chitral and the education system is not equipped to adequately handle education in such a multilingual environment. Munnings lists some key factors identified by the people of Chitral which are important for the development of the region: 1. The return of the Afghan refugees to Afghanistan. The completion of the Lowari Tunnel. Improvement of the local economy in agriculture and in small industry. Improvement of transportation and health services.


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Reform of the educational system to promote basic literacy in Khowar and Urdu and the acquisition of occupational and technical skills that will benefit the local economy. Languages of Chitral 24 In his Welcome Address to the guests at the Second International Hindu Kush Cultural Conference, Israr-ud-Din b spoke of these issues of development and cultural preservation and gave a clear explanation of the motivations which underlie this research. It is fitting to end with his words: This entry of Chitral into the larger cultural arenas of the nation and of the world is inextricably related to the second aspect of our cultural and developmental dilemma.

With rapid change comes dislocation and discontinuity. We are in a period in which our various cultures, in which we take pride for their ancient roots and their unique customs and institutionalized values, are under tremendous pressure. We see around us the beginnings of cultural loss and deterioration, and the prospect of their eventual extinction. For these reasons, every group is rightly concerned about maintaining the continuity of those aspects of its cultural heritage which are deemed essential to maintaining its distinctive identity.

At this particular historical juncture, we in the northern mountains of Pakistan find ourselves facing the problem of how to preserve the best elements of our traditional cultures while adopting selectively the beneficial elements of the new. This is not to say that we want to remain in a cultural vacuum or to preserve a past status quo forever. This is neither a healthy nor a possible goal. Cultural change is inevitable, but we hope and believe that with thoughtful and enlightened leadership among our scholars and educationists, the progress of cultural change can be shaped and guided to produce a positive and healthy synthesis of the old and the new.

Further research into the languages of Chitral is in keeping with the proposed resolutions of the Second International Hindu Kush Cultural Conference rd September, , which called for the protection of living cultures and cultural traditions in the diverse societies of the Hindu Kush. The primary purpose of this portion of the study was to describe the sociolinguistic environment of the language of wider communication which is influencing, to a large measure, the other language communities in Chitral.

Aspects of language variation, multilingual proficiency, language vitality, language use, and language attitudes are described. Information for this study was collected during the summers of and Questionnaires and interviews were conducted with forty-two Khowar speakers from these aforementioned villages and elsewhere throughout Chitral District, Yasin Valley, Ishkhoman Valley, Gilgit, and Peshawar. Supplemental information from interviews with speakers of the other languages in Chitral District concerning Khowars influence on these languages is addressed more thoroughly in the respective chapters of this volume.

It is spoken as far west as Garam Chishma in the Lutkuh Valley. South of Shandur Pass, Khowar is spoken on the west side of the Hindu Raj Range down to Arandu see map 4 , Languages of Chitral 26 although it is a minority language in most of the villages south of Mirkhani. Schomberg reported that in the s Khowar was spoken in the villages of Yasin and Sandhi in the Yasin Valley. According to information gathered by a colleague, Backstrom, the majority of the people in Thaus see Backstrom and Radloff map 2 are Khowar speakers; Khowar speakers also live in other villages in the central and northern Yasin Valley.

In the Ishkoman Valley, the respondents reported, Khowar is the predominant language in Shonast, Phakor, Dain, Chatorkhand, Mayon, and Hatoon, and a minority language elsewhere. There are Khowar speakers in some of the villages in the Punial area west of Gilgit, and in Gilgit itself. Decker Buddruss mentions a report by a Soviet scholar that there are Khowar speakers in the Gorno-Badakhshan region in the former Soviet Union.

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There are also permanent communities of Khowar speakers in Peshawar and Rawalpindi. In Captain D. Gurdon who lived in Chitral from to Chapter 2 Khowar 27 ethnographic information; however, apparently no one went to Chitral for the express purpose of studying the Kho or their language. When Morgenstierne visited Kabul, Afghanistan, in , he collected a few songs and texts in Khowar from a Chitrali servant.

In he collected more texts and vocabulary, but, according to Endresen and Kristiansen , he never focused his full attention on Khowar. Morgenstierne obtained some information from D. Lorimer, who, between and , collected a large volume of material on Khowar from Yasin and Chitral town. Unfortunately, most of Lorimers material has never been published and lies in the University of Londons School of Oriental and African Studies library stacks. Since Morgenstiernes death in , Endresen and Kristiansen have further analyzed some material collected by Morgenstierne.

Recent studies of the language have been done separately by Bashir cited in Masica and Munnings. One interesting aspect of Khowar studies has been the involvement of South Asians and, later, Chitralis themselves as the researchers of Khowar. Morgenstierne cited in Endresen and Kristiansen maintained correspondence with certain influential Khowar speakers who began to take up the torch of Khowar research and language development.

Morgenstierne and Wazir Ali Shah collaborated on a publication of Khowar songs in Sometime in the s Prince Samsam-ul-Mulk wrote a grammar of Khowar and a course book for primary classes. Although the precise date is unclear, it is certain that by the late s an alphabet had been adapted for Khowar based on Arabic and Urdu writing systems.


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