Outreach prog on mother tongues held

KARSINGSA, Dec 12: Rajiv Gandhi University’s (RGU) Centre for Endangered Languages (CFEL) on Thursday organised an outreach programme themed ‘Mother tongue awareness programme’ at Upper Dobam village here in Papum Pare district.
During the programme, Dr Wanglit Mongchan, linguist and professor at RGU’s Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies, spoke on the endangered status of the indigenous tribal languages in the state, and stressed on “the importance of mother tongue and proximity of language with the indigenous cultural identity.”
Dr Mongchan advised the participants to “retain their linguistic identity as the basis for confidence and dignity, apart from learning new languages.”
A documentary on the endangered language of the Tangam (a sub-group of the Adi tribe) was also screened.
Later, CFEL research associate, Dr Lienzang Zeite, presented a speech on the “overarching influence of modern technology on youths that can be deemed as major reason for linguistic hegemony of English and Hindi over local languages.”
Her opinion was seconded by Karsingsa HGB Gichik Lalen, who urged the villagers to create awareness on the value of their native language.
This was followed by an interactive session among the local youths, during which prominent concerns over “religious developments and their influence in acculturation” were discussed.
The session highlighted “the dominant nature of churches and stigmatization of tribal rituals with resultant eradication tendency.”
CEFL Senior Research Fellow, Kaling Dabi, also spoke.
The programme was facilitated by RGU Vice-Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha, CFEL coordinator Prof Simon John, HGB Lalen, and Upper Dobam Youth Welfare president Rajesh Gichik.
It may be mentioned here the CFEL has produced an award-winning documentary titled Ngok Miri Dekke Yoyo-Gaga Goktuanam Kiding (Those Songs and Lullabies I Used to Sing). The centre is working on more short films, monographs and outreach programmes with the purpose of rendering academic contributions, it stated in a release.