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Preservation and promotion of Torwali language and Culture

Every language spoken in the world represents a special history & culture, melody, color, and asset and to everyone the mother language is certainly one of the most precious treasures in our lives. It’s a duty and responsibility to preserve it and pass it down from generation to generation just to keep the identity of one existence.

In order to protect and promote the language spoken by thousands in Bahrain, cultural activists and civil society members in Upper Swat have started working to consolidate data on and to promote Torwali language and culture.

Since 2007 the local organization Idara Baraye Taleem o Taraqi(IBT) worked on Torwali language and culture , launched a new project “Preservation and promotion of Torwali language & Culture”

Yesterday in Bahrain Swat

During his speech to the audience IBT representative Aftab Ahmad said four books of the language would be published under the project.

“The first book would be on the grammar of Torwali while the second would be a dictionary listing 3,000 to 5,000 Torwali words with Urdu and English translations.” He added, “The third book is structured on the daily usage of Torwali and the fourth one will contain selected folk tales; both the books will have Urdu and English translations.”

Cultural activists at the event said Torwali—of Dardic root—is an ignored language. It is from a group of closely related Indo-Iranian languages spoken in Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Most of native speakers of Torwali live in Upper Swat which is a popular tourist destination.

IBT Executive Director Zubair Torwali who was also present at the launch told the audience, “Language is closely related to people’s identity.” He added, “It is a bearer of indigenous wisdom and history, and an effective means of education and communication.”

Once a language dies, a nation dies, and along with it, a great portion of world heritage dies, he said.

Researching  on torwali language a four-member team will research the language for the four books. Their plans include visits to remote villages in the areas where most Torwali speakers reside. Torwali music, with a touch of fusion and new style, will be recorded to promote the language.

Doing all these combined efforts A project activity titled ‘Preservation and Promotion of Torwali Language & Culture’ will be undertaken by IBT, financed by United States Agency for International Development under its Ambassador’s Fund Programme. “The project includes work on the production of video and audio DVDs of the music with the help of famous media houses and young torwali poets and actors,” said Ahmad.

Local political and social activist Khan Saeed lauded the efforts to strengthen the identity of the Torwali people. He appreciated the initiative to focus on creating a Torwali script and the work done on the development of Swat-Kohistan.

Torwali elders promised to help the researchers collect data for the four books. Some of them recited ancient poetry in Torwali along with translation for the non local.

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