In this program, producer Dev Kumar Sunuwar talks about Sunuwar language, the mother tongue of Sunuwar Indigenous Peoples of Nepal, called Koits-lo. The Sunuwar are one of 59 Indigenous Peoples legally recognized by the government of Nepal. They live in the eastern part of Nepal, alongside of the Likhu, Sunkoshi and Khimti Rivers, mainly in the Ramechhap and Okhaldhunga districts. Sunuwar people call themselves “koits” in their mother tongue. According to the 2011 Census, The Sunuwar have a population of 57 thousand, of which only 18 thousand can speak their mother tongue.
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.
This radio program is part of a series of programs produced by Indigenous Rights Radio, to commemorate the International Year of Indigenous Languages, 2019. In this program, we showcase the Newar Indigenous Language which is called, Nepal-Bhasa. The Newar are one of the 59 Indigenous Peoples recognized so far by the government of Nepal. They are the original habitants of Kathmandu valley, the capital city of modern Nepal. The Newar people have diversity in terms of religion, rituals and culture, but share one common language.