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International Year Of Indigenous Languages - Rai, Nepal

This program includes short voice clips of four different languages spoken by four different sub-clans of Rai Indigenous communities of Nepal namely: Bantawa, Chamling, Kulung and Puma. Rai is one of Nepal’s 59 Indigenous Peoples, legally recognized by the government, but debate among Rai Indigenous communities still continues about Rai not being their ethnic identity, but posts given to the topmost leaders during the ancient kingship system of Nepal.

According to 2011 Census, the population of Rai is 6 hundred thousand. But Rai indigenous peoples are divided into many different sub-groups, including Bantawa, Chamling, Kulung, Puma and so forth, some groups number only a few hundred members. They identify themselves as ‘Kirat rai’ as a single indigenous group. But Rai Indigenous peoples speak over 38 different languages and each of these linguistic groups identify themselves as separate Indigenous Peoples such as Bantawa Rai, Chamling Rai, Kulug Rai, Puma Rai. This particular program depicts that there is enormous diversity among indigenous peoples in terms of language.


Producer: Dev Kumar Sunuwar

Music: Yawar Wawki-Yarina, titled ‘Wawa’ music from Peru, used with consent

Voice: Rita Rai, Prabin Puma, Chhila Rai and Ajaya Kulung


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