September 10, 2007

Haflong Hindi

The Indian Express reports on the pidgin Hindi that unites tribes living in the North Cachar Hills of Assam. ('In this Assam district, Hindi unites 11 tribes', Indian Express, 10 September, 2007).

“We call it Haflong Hindi,” said former Chairman of Haflong Town Committee Gopinath Gorlosa.

“A century ago, most of the 11 tribes living in the North Cachar Hills could hardly communicate with each other. Today, all of us have a common language, which we call Haflong Hindi,” Gorlosa said. While Gorlosa himself is a Dimasa, all other tribes—Hmar, Kuki, Zeme Naga, Biate, Vaiphei, Hrangkhol, Khelma, Rongmei, Karbi, Jaintiya—use Haflong Hindi to communicate with each other.

When a Dimasa tribal says, “Tumko mairong leke aaya”, one must understand that he means “I have brought some rice for you,” he explains. “Sometimes it is difficult to understand,” points out Anil Kumar Barua, Deputy Commissioner of the district. When one says, “Tum kutta hum khaya,” it means “Your dog has bitten me”. Or when someone says, “Hum agey girega,” it means “please drop me there.”

1 comment:

David Garlick said...