Chris Manders – American Speaking Newari

by Kriti
Chris Manders – American Speaking Newari

Chris Manders - American Speaking Newari

JoJo Loppa, It is a greetings in Newari language. Newari language is a indigenous Nepali bhasa.  Also known as Nepal Bhasa, it is supposedly one of the hardest languages to learn. Newari language is difficult and most non Newari people have difficulty communicating in this language.

However, Christopher Jay Manders has learned this difficult language. He is an american who has written a book “A Foundation In Khas-Nepali Grammar”. He can communicate in Newari language while even Nepalese and some native Newars can not.

He is currently working on a book of Nepal Bhasa Grammar book and Newa Cook book.

Nepal bhasa used to be the administrative language and day to day language during 14-18th century. But the Gorkha rule sidelined the language and today it remains as mother tongue of  the Newari people. The language has prehistoric evidences and supposed to be originated in 5th century in Lichhavi dynasty (400-750 AD).  The inscriptions on Newari language are found from 12th century.

The Newars of Kathmandu are the living heritage of the very ancient and distinctive culture of Nepal. The language itself is a very complex and has rich literary essence in Nepali language. However, the language has always been shadowed in the modern era in Nepal as it is not understood by the majority of the Nepalese. The language itself has a different verbal accent and variant words even among the different Newari speaking communities  of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kirtipur, collectively known as Nepal Mandala.

There have been many efforts on preserving and highlighting the language. Many writers and scholar have written Newari books, translation and literary creation on this language. The peoples’ movement in 2006 has also helped to boost the language and eliminate the  linguistic barrier. Now not only Newari but other mother tongue language can be used in local official bodies as an official language. However practice of this has been very rare.

On the brighter side, there are many Newari newspapers on publication. Many National televisions and radio have a Newari news bulletin broadcasted once a day. Similarly many cultural organizations have promoted Newari communication among children of the Newari community. There are many local artist and media personalities working on Television series and programs on Newari language with Nepali subtitles. Also many documentaries and movies have been made on this very language.

It is commendable that people like Chris, not only non-Newari but non-Nepali, who are helping protect, preserve and grow the Newari language.  A language not only a heritage of Nepal but the even the world body. Kudos to you Chris and other’s like you !!!

This is a Nepali Grammar book – written by Chris –  Check it out in Amazon !!