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International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples Spotlight: Dr. Devina Krishna




Please introduce yourself and tell us about your community.


I am Dr Devina Krishna, Academic and linguist from India. I teach linguistics at the Department of English, Patna Women’s College, India. I belong to the Dogra community of Jammu and Kashmir. The Dogra people are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group in India consisting of the Dogri language speakers. The Dogra people live in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and adjoining areas of Punjab.


Tell us about your language (for example: where your language is spoken, how many speakers there are, does your language have a writing system/script?).


Dogri belongs to the Indo Aryan group of languages. It is spoken by about 5 million people in India, chiefly in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, regions of Himachal Pradesh and parts of Punjab. The language uses Takri script.


Tell us more about your cultural practices (example: share music and songs, poetry, art, food, dance, stories, and traditional practices).


One of the most popular folk-song from Dogri is Pala sipahiya dogariya, reflecting feelings of a lover in the memory of her beloved. The famous Basohli paintings, referred to as 'Makkabba' are known for vivid colors, bold lines and deep set facial patterns. In addition to these Dogri has a rich literature of folktales. The traditional food of Dogras are madra, rajmah and gheur.


What are your hopes and desires for the future of your language(s) and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032?


Language is our identity and reflection of our coexistence. It is important to speak one's language. Many Dogri writers have contributed immensely for the promotion of Dogri, but there has been mediocrity in Digri literature. I hope that the language is spoken by majority of people in those regions and children also speak Dogri as their native tongue. I am thankful to International Decade of Indigenous languages 2022-2032 for providing us the platform to express our views.


Are there any individuals (advocates, activists) or specific projects in your community that you would like to highlight or share?


One of my friends Udita Sawhney, a present research scholar of linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University is working on Dogri. She has written research papers on this language.


Are there any resources or links you would like to share for people to learn more about your language, culture, history and community? Please list them here.


I have spoken on linguistic features of this language in international language symposiums and festivals. The following is the YouTube link to my talk: https://youtu.be/yZV_W507Vk4

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