Shekhani language; the 20th language FLI takes up

FLI reaches another milestone by taking up the Kataviri language, the 20th language the organization has targeted to preserve and promote. FLI conducted a survey during the second week of October in Shekhandeh, Bamburet- Chitral to find out what was the exact status of orality, identity and literacy of the language among the community by using of its famous tools, the Sustainable Use Model (SUM). Six to eight people including young, aged and learned people from the Kati community attended the sessions throughout the six days. The Kataviri language was found vigorous in orality with strong position on identity scale but lagging behind in literacy. Currently, the language lacks a writing system.

The Kataviri language is spoken in hilly peripheries of Chitral valley, sharing the borders with Afghanistan from where the speakers immigrated to the area some 130 years back. The areas the language is spoken include Shekhandeh, Gobor, Langorbat, Badugal, Urtsun etc. in Chitral. The language is called Shekhani by locals which is a group name of Nooristani languages spoken in Chitral; Kataviri and Kamviri, however the native speakers like to be identified as Kati speakers.

Based on the survey outcomes, FLI is planning to strengthen the language in literacy area by helping the community in placing a writing system for their language. For the purpose the basic orthography and writers’ workshop for the community people will be held who will be turning their purely oral language into a written one. FLI has so far enabled hundreds of people from 19 language communities in northern Pakistan to document and develop their native languages and Shekhani is the 20th language FLI has started to develop by enabling its speakers in language documentation.     

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