Workshop on documentation of the endangered languages & cultures of Ashing (Adi) and Bogun Bokang (Adi) concludes

RONO HILLS, 18 Sep: The weeklong workshop on ‘Documentation of the Endangered Languages and Cultures of Ashing (Adi) and Bogun Bokang (Adi)’ concluded at the Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) here on Saturday.

Attending the concluding day of the workshop, RGU Vice Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha described the community members as a repository of indigenous knowledge. He  urged them to retain the languages and cultural practices “before it is lost amidst modernization and globalization.”

Citing the relationship between institute and community as a significant aspect, the VC urged the community members to keep on maintaining the relationship they have with the university. He also urged the communities for the preservation of cultural artefacts in the museum or any other mode. He assured that RGU will extend every possible help in this regard.

RGU Registrar Dr N T Rikam highlighted the various research projects undertaken by the RGU and urged the community members to be a part of such documentation process in the future too as and when required by the university. He also urged the AITS to carry out a museum and documentation movement with a larger participation of the communities, whereby all culture-related arts and artefacts can be preserved in the university.

Coordinator of the Centre for Endangered Languages (CFEL) and Principal Investigator (PI) of the research project Prof S Simon John exuded hope that the workshop has been successful in bridging the gap between the university and the communities. He also urged the university and the communities to continue to extend their help and cooperation in any future academic endeavour undertaken by the AITS.

RGU AITS Director Prof Jumyir Basar briefed about the initiative of the AITS in the formulation of the ‘Cultural Policy’ for the state in collaboration with the directorate of research, GoAP.

Secretary-general of the Bogun Bokang Welfare Society (BBWS) Tatin Medo, representing the Bogun Bokang (Adi) community, thanked the CFEL, AITS and the RGU authority for carrying out an authentic research study.

“The Bogun Bokang as a subgroup within the Adi tribe has been continuously misrepresented in earlier writings and literature,” he informed. He hoped that a workshop of this sort will help the community to be known by others. He also assured to help the university in any way possible to carry out further research on the language and cultural practices of the community.

Assistant Professor of AITS, Dr Tarun Mene also spoke.

The workshop was organised by the CFEL, Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS), RGU under the project ‘Documentation of Endangered Languages, Oral Narratives and Cultures of the Lesser-Known Tribal Communities of Arunachal Pradesh’  and supported by the North Eastern Council, Government of India.

Before the workshop, a month-long fieldwork was carried out in a natural socio-cultural context in the Upper Siang regions during February-March 2021. The field research team consisted of Dr. Tame Ramya (Tarh), Dr Mechek Sampar Awan, Kaling Dabi, Kombong Darang, and Tailyang Nampi.