2019:Languages/Godwari: Voices of the Thar
This is a Closed submission for Wikimania 2019. It has been reviewed and was not accepted.
Description[edit | edit source]
Godwari is a quickly disappearing dialect of Marwari, which Wikipedia defines as "a Rajasthani language spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthan." Marwari evolved from the ancient Sanskrit tongue, thousands of years ago, separating from cousin languages, such as Gujurati and Hindi, and independently evolving centuries ago. As Wikipedia notes, Marwari has roughly 7.9 million speakers worldwide, the most widely spoken variety of Rajasthani in existence, yet "has no official status as a language of education and government."
With over two dozen dialects, notably Godwari, Jodhpuri Marwari, and Bikaneri Marwari, the language is widely varied and diverse in terms of spoken and written forms as well as through vocabulary and pronunciation. Traditionally spoken by the people of Rajasthan's arid northern deserts, Marwari is a tongue which evolved and endured through the hars hest of conditions, facilitating the rise of the Rajasthani business community which shaped the history, geopolitical structure, and economics of the Indian subcontinent from the seventeenth century to the present day with great impacts on the arts and sciences.
This session would aim to spread awareness of the Marwari language throughout speakers of other, related languages, and those who with to learn more about the language. Its focus would center around the varying dialects of Marwari, especially Godwari, one of the most quickly-shrinking dialects of the language. Though the language does have several million speakers overall, little about its rich vocabulary and culture is known by the outside community, and by helping spread knowledge of and appreciation for the language, the workshop will aim to slow and eventually halt the extinction of this beautiful language. Furthermore, the awareness of Godwari by speakers of Hindi, one of the world's largest languages and one which is heavily prevalent on Wikipedia, will allow them to further understand their own language, through the examination of a shared past and similarities in tonal structure, pronunciation, and usage.
By fostering a recognition of disappearing languages on an international stage, the Wikipedia Foundation may aid in the noble cause of free knowledge and sustainable development through the protection of the linguistic traditions of the past.
Relationship to the theme[edit | edit source]
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
In this forum, through activities relating to this small, disappearing, minority language, through cooperation with larger lingual groups such as English and Hindi, we may hope to build upon the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals and effect change across broader lingual preservation.
While this session, relates to many of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, it is most specifically applicable to SDG4: Quality Education. This goal is defined as ensuring "that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development"
Through the spreading of knowledge of a fast-dissapearing language and the widespread benefits which humanity may gain from greater knowledge of it, and other lingual traditions in similar states, this session promotes broader global citizenship through the appreciation of cultural diversity via the gifts of language. In turn, these ideals foster a culture of peace and non-violence through mutual understanding, in turn contributing to the SDGs.
Session outcomes[edit | edit source]
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
- An introduction to the history and cultural contexts of the Marwari language and Godwari dialect
- An introduction to Marwari usage and vocabulary
- A brief look at the Marwari language's future
- A discussion of how leaders may come together to help preserve such traditions
Session leader(s)[edit | edit source]
Mr. Akshay Amesur
Session type[edit | edit source]
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
- Discussion-based training
- Workshop to identify and try to solve problem
- Roundtable discussion forum
Requirements[edit | edit source]
The session will work best with these conditions:
- A small, round table discussion area with the ability to use a projector
- Roughly 35-50 individuals although this number is flexible
- No prior knowledge required although a basic understanding of Hindi and English may be useful
- This is appropriate