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Bhutan wants to preserve its local dialects

Bhutan is known for its diverse culture and tradition. Local dialects and costumes form a part of it but these are eventually getting diluted as modernity takes toll. The members of the National Council discussed its importance and the need to preserve and promote such traditions that form a part of Bhutan’s unique identity.

As per the 2010 survey there are about 28 local dialects in the country which include dzongkha, mangdepkha, bumthapkha, khengkha, oleykha, lhotshamkha, beokha, sharchopkha among others. There are also many other dialects within the commonly spoken dialect with slight variation in intonation and diction from region to region.

National Council Member Sonam Kinga said, as the number of local dialect speaking population decreases the threat to the country’s much talked about unique identity is at stake. He said, there might even come a time when tracking ones origin will become impossible.

Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs Minjur Dorji said, government is taking every possible initiative to preserve the few endangered dialects along with the promotion of dzongkha by the Dzongkha Development Commission.

The prime reasons for dying of the local dialects are under laid by the Home and Cultural Affairs Ministry as rural-urban migration, resettlement, decrease in dialect speaking population, lack of opportunity and inter marriages among different section of the society.

The Minister said, while detail study of some local dialects by the researchers and DDC are complete some are under way.
He added, the research would help in coining new dzongkha words that are missing in the dzongkha vocabulary instead of borrowing from outside.

The National Council members in the meanwhile said the paper works should be translated into action before the dialects become a history.

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