International Mother Language Day, celebrated every year on 21 February – Unesco

On International Mother Language Day 2018, celebrated every year on 21 February, UNESCO reiterates its commitment to linguistic diversity and invites its Member States to celebrate the day in as many languages as possible as a reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development. | Read the full post on the Unesco website >>

How does language influence culture and identity?

One language dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly half of the ~7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear. But what is lost when a language falls silent? | Read the full story here >>

People and nature blur in the world’s indigenous languages: The perspective that nature and culture are not just interlinked, but that they are inseparable, is shared amongst many native and indigenous worldviews. For indigenous groups, it is often difficult to talk about issues related to nature outside of the context of their people, which is reflected by the way these concepts are translated into language, songs and creation stories: “Nature and people are not two separate things, they are the same: nature is people and people are nature.”

Indigenous dictionary project aims to keep endangered languages alive […]

Half of the India’s 1,600 languages yet to be traced: “Concluding his ambitious marathon Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India,(PLSI) which took four years of field work preceded by nearly 15 years of conceptualization and planning, Prof Ganesh Devy, the Sahitya Akademi award winner, literary critic and founder of the Tribal Academy at Tejgadh declares that out of 1,600-odd languages listed in the 1961 survey of India, they have been able to trace not more than 850 languages during their survey. The survey was initiated by Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Centre founded by Prof Devy.” […]
Source: The fight for survival: language and identity
Date visited:21 February 2019

What is ALL (“Association for Language Learning”)
The Association for Language Learning (ALL) is an independent registered charity and is the UK’s major subject association for those involved in the teaching foreign languages at all levels. The Association for Language Learning (ALL) was founded in 1990 through the amalgamation of seven UK associations of language teachers. | Learn more here >>

Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

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Posted in Commentary, Cultural heritage, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Languages and linguistic heritage, Multi-lingual education, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples | Comments Off on International Mother Language Day, celebrated every year on 21 February – Unesco

An open education model for collaborative rural students: The Tamarind Tree School – Maharashtra

A school in India defies the traditional education model

Michelle Chawla Feed,, 5 January 2018

The Tamarind Tree School uses an open education model to offer collaborative, innovative learning solutions to rural students. | Read the full story here >>

Located in a sleepy village just two hours away from the bustling metropolis of Mumbai is a school that defies traditional educational models by collaboratively owning, building, and sharing knowledge and technology. […]

The Tamarind Tree School, located in Dahanu Taluka, Maharashtra, India, is an experiment in open education. Open education is a philosophy about how people produce, share, and build on knowledge and technology, advocating a world in which education is for social good, and everyone has equal opportunity and access to education, training, and knowledge. […]

The curriculum hosted at My Big Campus is derived from the National Council of Educational Research and Training in New Delhi. Students enjoy answering quizzes, commenting on images and blogs, creating digital art, and more. Courses are created contextually, grading can be done online, and students can learn at their own pace.

4. E-library
Tamarind Tree also has a facility where any student with a digital device can read books, articles, or news reports from a collection of more than 3,000 resources hosted on the school’s e-library server.

About the author

Michelle Chawla – Michelle lives on a chikoo farm in a village in Dahanu, India from where she runs the Tamarind Tree School. Along with her team she has managed to create a space that challenges the conventional notions of education, technology and prejudices about rural communities by bringing in open source technologies. She works and manages a small team of people at Tamarind Tree who are bound by their desire to see an equitable and just society. Michelle is also a Moodler.



At Tamarind Tree, we believe in collaborative learning and knowledge building.  Students, teachers and everyone on our campus is the learning community – engaging with each other, with the spaces around us, observing, watching, discussing, debating and living life. | Learn more >>

Source: A school in India defies the traditional education model
Date accessed: 14 April 2018


[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

ORAL HISTORY | Read the full story here >>

Modern constructs of linear time become superfluous in interactions with the tribal communities of western India. For the Warlis, Koknas, Malhar Kolis, Katkaris scattered acrosss the foothills of the Sahyadari range in north west Maharashtra, life is one continuous spiral beginning with the onset of the monsoons and the planting of rice, to reach a crescendo with harvest. Life and death are part of an eternal continuum deeply linked with nature.  Death came upon man because he humilated Mother Earth, they say.  

Communities with a legacy of exploitation and cultural subjugation, the Warlis currently living in Dahanu, Jawahar, Mokhada, Talaseri, Dadra Nagarhaveli upto the south of the Dangs district in Gujarat, have no recorded history of their own. With a chequered history of colonisation by the Portuguese, the Marathas and the British, the Warli identity has inevitably been constructed by the ‘outsider’.   

The Tribal Worldview 
For the Warlis, recollections of their past and interpretations of the present continue to be passed down through oral traditions. A vibrant oral culture is expressed in their language and symbols, myths and rituals, legends and sagas. A tongue and cheek folklore recited by the Warli village story teller, (the “thalawala”)  warns of the greedy Parsi landlord and his ways. The myth of creation and of death reveals a deep reverence for nature.  […]

Source: Oral History,


Date visited: 21 February 2019

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Continuation of colonial-era forest laws and mass evictions: Historical displacement of tribals from forests – Forest Rights Act

Nitin Sethi, The Wire, 15 February 2019

State governments would have to undertake mass evictions if the court accepts a petition filed by wildlife groups. […]  

If the court accepts the plea of petitioners, state governments would have to undertake mass evictions. The union ministry for tribal affairs estimates that by the end of November 2018, out of the 4.2 million claims received, 1.94 million claims have been rejected. As many as 1.89 million claimants have actually got titles over their traditional forestlands.  […]  

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ordered states to report what action they have been taken against tribals and forest-dwellers whose claims to forestlands have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act. | Read the full article >>

Also read: Wildlife and Forest Rights Groups Have Shared Interests. Why Don’t They Work Together?

Source: SC Seeks Report on Action Taken Against Tribals Who Lost Claim to Forests
Date visited: 19 February 2019

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Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Elephant, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Maps, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Rights of Indigenous Peoples | Comments Off on Continuation of colonial-era forest laws and mass evictions: Historical displacement of tribals from forests – Forest Rights Act

ePub | Forest of Tigers: People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans

The full book by Annu Jalais is now available as free download on >>

Acclaimed for its unique ecosystem and Royal Bengal tigers, the mangrove islands that comprise the Sundarbans area of the Bengal delta is the setting for this anthropological work. Annu Jalais explores the significance of tigers for the islanders, explaining that — far more than caste, tribe or religion — the Sundarbans articulate their social locations and interactions by reference to the non-human world: the forest and its man-eating tiger. The book combines ethnography on a little-known region with theoretical insights to provide a new frame of reference to understand social relations in the Indian subcontinent.

Source: Yale Books In Brief
Address : <>
Date Visited: Thu Jul 07 2011 12:36:09 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Published by Routledge, New Delhi >>

Author: Annu Jalais, Assistant Professor, South Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore

Born and educated in Calcutta (now Kolkata), Annu Jalais currently researches is on subaltern identity, social mobility and religion in the last forty years in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews with individuals from resettled and marginalised communities, I explore what it means to be Bengali when one is not elite.

Source: South Asian Studies Programme – Home
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Date Visited: Sun Dec 09 2012 22:53:30 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Video | “Barge Duyor” (Backyard Door): Song 2 from Santali video album “Ale Ato” (Our Village) – West Bengal

Barge Duyor (Backyard Door)

[Starting from 5:08]

An old man says:
Whenever I enter and leave my house through the back door I hear the hammering sound of the blacksmith from the other side of our village. Poor blacksmith, I am a widower, and your sound makes my heart heavy and fearful.
Every day at dawn I awake thinking of the pigeons, including the pregnant ones, who flew away from the earthen bowls by the sound of the rice husking machine near our house.

Literary translation

Coming out and in at the back door of the house,

I hear the sound of hammering,

At the end of our village the poor blacksmith prepares the ring of the cart.

Me too, poor blacksmith have no partner in life

Every beat of the hammer makes my heart tremble.

Backyard of the house and adjacent to the wall

I hear the sound of Dhinki ‘dhukur dhukur’ (Dinki-rice crusher machine made of wood)

The sound of Dhingki keeps me awake during the dawn of day.

Flight of pigeons under our thatch roof

About to hatch chicks today or tomorrow

View the full video album from the beginning >>

Learn more

Courtesy: Dr. Boro Baski © Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust –


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Posted in Eastern region, Homes and utensils, Media portrayal, Music and dance, Names and communities, Organizations, PDF printfriendly, Resources, Rural poverty, Storytelling, Video contents | Tagged | Comments Off on Video | “Barge Duyor” (Backyard Door): Song 2 from Santali video album “Ale Ato” (Our Village) – West Bengal