Mao among northeast dialects in Uni.’s new language program
Dimapur, August 19 : The Mao dialect is one of four tribal dialects from the northeast region that a university in Mangaluru of Karnataka will be offering as a language subject. The dialects are the Assamiya, the Mao, the Meiteilon, and the Khasi.
To establish regional relations among the eight sister states of northeast India, the Nitte University has on August 12 launched a language certificate program in northeastern dialects.
The 14-week course will commence from September. It will be conducted by the Namaste, Centre for Studies on North Eastern States, at the Nitte campus in Derlakatte of Karnataka.
“The certificate courses aim to familiarize people with a panoramic perspective about these places,”said Dr. Anirbam Chakraborty, Coordinator of Namaste.
‘During the course, candidates will be taught about the various states and their languages, foods, celebrations and traditions. The classes are planned to be held on weekends. Currently we are planning to rope in NGOs in these places, which will help carry out the work more efficiently,” he added.
According to a press release by the Raj Bhavan, the initiative was guided by the governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya who inaugurated the Namaste last November.
Acharya had called for ‘healthy dialogue’ between the north-eastern states and the rest of India. In response, Nitte University had reserved a number of seats for students from the north-eastern states and had initiated ‘collaborative research’ and exchange programs for the students, faculty, and ‘talented youth from the states,’ the note stated.
The governor has appealed to the people of Nagaland and, in particular, the students, to learn other languages. As the world comes closer together, it is even more imperative to be proficient in other languages, the release stated.
‘Mother Tongue is the first personal, social and cultural identity of an individual. We are a democratic republic and every citizen is equal. The basic qualities of a person in a democratic country are to respect each other in totality respecting one’s own dialect and respecting each other,’ the note stated.
At present there is no university with a department that focuses on teaching tribal dialects, it was asserted.
‘Learning another language gives the ability to step inside the mind and heart of a person. Intercultural understanding begins with individuals who have language abilities and this strengthens and motivates individuals, which is the need of the hour in the northeast region,’ the release added.