In this blog post, I will write about why it’s important that I learn and know Santhali, my mother tongue.
I am a Santhal, from the Santali community. We are one of the biggest Adivasi communities in India and we have our own language, our own script, our own religion and everything else.
Growing up I didn’t get the opportunity to be surrounded by people from my Santhali community. And so I don’t know how to speak my mother tongue fluently.
My grandparents came to the city from their village for jobs. My parents know Santhali but I face problems with that.
So you might think, why is this guy writing a blog post on learning his mother tongue? Isn’t knowing English and Hindi enough to live a good life in India?
My answer is “No”.
Knowing my mother tongue is important for many reasons-
- Survival of our identity as Santhals
- Survival of our culture
- Empowering our people to live self-actualised lives
- Contributing to the larger society through sharing the wisdom and lessons from our culture
- Celebrating the sacrifices of our leaders
- Creating Santhali literature in our own Ol Chiki script
- Feeling unity and pride for our community
- Upholding our religious and spiritual practices and traditions
I am sure there are more reasons but these came to my mind at the moment.
So currently I am learning Santhali and Ol Chiki script on my own. I would love some guidance but even if I don’t get the guidance, I believe I will be able to learn them very quickly with conscious effort if I am focused.
I am listening to the Santhali Akhra radio show on AIR Kolkata Geetanjali Akashwani radio station almost every day and I am asking my family members to speak to me in Santhali. I also listen to Santhali songs and I especially love Singrai Soren’s “Sekej Sekej” song.
Sometimes I feel demotivated due to my slow progress but I need to have faith in myself and a little patience to learn the language and the script.
So this was my blog post on why it’s important for me to learn Santhali. Please comment- What is your mother tongue and do you know it well?