Bilingual Multilingual Odia Tribal Language Kisan Dictionary
Art & Culture
Special Development Council, Malkangiri, Planning & Convergence Department, Govt. of Odisha
The culture of tribals of Odisha is quite ancient. Their daily routines, rituals and practices, language, and folk tradition differ from others. Their language, culture and traditional knowledge are influenced by the environment and the surrounding. They are highly self-respecting people even if staying far from the mainstream.
Under the influence of the mainstream and the development of electronic media, the tribal culture is undergoing changes. Language is the most important medium to bring tribals from isolation into the mainstream. In this crucial juncture language is the prime connection between their culture and development. New avenues will open up for the tribals if they are able to understand development in their own language.
Education is another way to upgrade the life of the tribals. Education begins with a child learning a language to communicate. The first language that the child learns is his mother tongue. Through his own language, the child gets acquainted with the world and his cultural practices. Hence for a tribal child to be educated means his knowledge based on his language and culture.
Special Development Council has developed 21 Bilingual dictionaries keeping the language in mind for the primary education of the tribal children. This is the first step. There is a requirement for preparing a comprehensive dictionary on the language spoken by each tribe. This will lead to the preservation of their cultural identity.
There are regional differences between the languages of the same tribe. The difference may be clan wise or geography-wise. Materialistic culture also has an obvious effect on language. There will be no difficulty in getting the meaning of a word if one understands the context. This compilation, Odia - Kisan dictionary, is based on the language spoken by the tribes of the Panposh and Gadposh regions of Sundargarh district of Odisha.