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Deshoali dialect echoes in tea gardens

It has no written form or alphabet

February 23, 2021 00:00:00

SUST, Feb 22 (UNB): 'Deshoali', the parlance of the tea workers of Sylhet region, should be preserved through research and used in pre-primary education to encourage children from this community to enroll in schools.

"The responsibility of preservation of 'Deshoali' and research falls on the Bangla speakers," Prof Dr Md Ashraful Karim, a language researcher from the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), told the news agency.

It should be one of our key demands in February, the month of the historic Language Movement, the Bangla department chair of SUST, said.

Most of Bangladesh's tea gardens are situated in the three districts of Sylhet region. And Moulvibazar has the highest number of tea gardens.

"The tea workers came here from various regions in India about 150 years ago. They used to speak in local language at first. 'Deshoali' gradually came into existence through the amalgamation of various languages. It became the language of the tea workers," Prof Karim said.

But they don't have alphabet or written form.

"'Deshoali' is the mixture of local Bangla, Hindi and the tea workers' own language (from the regions they came from)," the researcher said.

He noted that there have been research and surveys on the tea workers' socio-economic condition but the language has hardly been focused. "We practically show no interest in the language of this socially neglected community," Prof Karim said.

During his research, the SUST teacher said he found that Bangla has a great impact on 'Deshoali'.

The tea worker community is lagging behind in various fields, particularly education.

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