Language work endorsed in Gilgit-Baltistan

“I assure FLI and its partners in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) who have devoted their lives to work for the development of indigenous languages of GB my full support and every assistance in the GB Assembly”, this was stated by the opposition leader in GB Legislative Assembly, Capt. (r) Muhammad Shafi while speaking in a seminar FLI held on Feb 21, to mark International Mother Language Day (IMLD 2019) in Gilgit. FLI  decided to observe the IMLD) 2019 in Gilgit so as to gather the speakers of indigenous languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and discuss what they feel for the future of their heritage languages. Mr. Shafi appreciated FLI’s efforts especially to hold the event in the Gilgit city. There are five languages vigorously spoken in GB and the good thing is that the sitting government of GB is pursuing a futuristic plan to develop these languages.  Some good minds in the executive hierarchy of the government have been deputed with the task to include local languages in the schools curriculum. FLI is eagerly waiting for the initiation of this great work by the GB government and it has assured its full technical support to successfully implement the plans of the government. The aim of observing of year’s IMLD was also to reaffirm FLI’s resolve to not only work with the government but also with language communities of the region. All languages were represented in the event. Eight literary people who belonged to Shina, Balti, Khowar, Burushaski and Wakhi languages and one from the academia while two government officials gave presentations on the current status of the language work, the challenges they encounter and opportunities in sight. The event was a great success as it gathered all the genuine language workers at one place and linked them with politicians and government officials. While speaking on the occasion Hasan Hasrat, a literary personality of Balti language thanked FLI for holding the event in Gilgit and said that the event has never been observed by any organization or government in GB.

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CoP on Culture and Arts held in Islamabad

FLI organized a Community of Practice (CoP) on culture and arts on March 14, 2019 in Islamabad which was attended by 16 people from 11 language communities of northern Pakistan. The event was aimed to figure out why the local arts and music were facing the danger of extinction and what steps should be taken to revive the local musical arts. Eight people, belonging to Torwali, Gawri, Khowar, Shina, Wakhi, Hindko, Palula and Kalasha language groups presented their presentations on how music, an integral part of their indigenous cultures were eroding and what were the reasons. They also floated their recommendations for promotion of their cultural heritage. The conclusion brought up many reasons varying from geographical to atmospheric factors effecting the very cultural aspect of the region. Some of the findings of the CoP listed below:

  • Music was no more a likable and profitable profession in some societies of northern Pakistan
  • Music and musicians are stigmatized in some areas
  • Globalization, religious extremism, social stigma and government negligence were blamed for overall degradation of local arts.

Factually, every indigenous culture in northern Pakistan, as come out of this event, had been giving great importance  to the music in the past. In some places, the music was used not only for casual entertainment but was it also a part of daily life of the inhabitants. In Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral region, some type of musical instruments are still being played during the traditional polo competitions, meant to create thrill among the players. The same was done in the past during wars.

FLI has been requested by the participants of this event to work for the revival of this aspect of cultures in its target region. FLI will surely seek government help for the purpose though its advocacy efforts.

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16 people trained to write their mother tongue

16 people including three women from Khowar language community of Golaghmuli village in district Ghizer, GB gained the ability of writing in their mother tongue in a workshop. FLI held this Writers’ Workshop for Khowar Community in the first week of November 2018 in their village, Golaghmuli. The purpose of the activity was to enable the community people to understand how writing system of a language is standardized. External facilitator Farid A Raza and Sr. Literacy Officer of FLI,Orthography Pic JPG Naseem Haider facilitated the training.

16 people trained to write their mother tongue

16 people including three women from Khowar language community of Golaghmuli village in district Ghizer, GB gained the ability of writing in their mother tongue in a workshop. FLI held this Writers’ Workshop for Khowar Community in the first week of November 2018 in their village, Golaghmuli. The purpose of the activity was to enable the community people to understand how writing system of a language is standardized. External facilitator Farid A Raza and Sr. Literacy Officer of FLI,Orthography Pic JPG Naseem Haider facilitated the training.

7 people trained in Linguistic Map making

FLI’s seven master trainers got the ability to develop maps to be included in their research work on languages. They can now make the maps in accordance with the requirements of their research project detailing the geographic aspects of information and use in their research work. Mr. Qandeel Hussain, a linguist who facilitated this training in FLI office on Nov 28, 2018.


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Seminar for local journalists of Skardu, GB organized

Watch TV report here;

FLI’s organized a media seminar for the local journalists of Skardu in Skardu Press Club Gilgit Baltistan on July 15, 2018. Members of Press club attended including known writers of Balti language community. They demanded more programs so that Balti language could be promoted. FLI noted their demands and will surely include Balti community is its future programs._MG_7567

 

Community people shared with each other how they manage their natural resources

The Forum for language Initiatives arranged a Community of Practice (CoP) on Indigenous Resources Management on 30th of April 2018 in Islamabad. 18 people belonging to various language and culture groups attended this one day event. The goal of this CoP was to provide the communities of North Pakistan an opportunity to share the very indigenous wisdom of managing the natural resources in their particular areas and learn from each other. Secondly, they had to translate the learning from this event into a lesson and apply in their own context. 12 people from north Pakistan gave their presentation elaborating how the natural resources; Land, Forest, Water and Pastures (grasslands) are currently or have been traditionally managed in their respective regions.

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