Friday, 12 November 2010

1131st Nepal New Year Supplement

Heartiest Lasakus (welcome) to Nepal Lipi Online and Bhintuna (Best wishes) on the 1131st auspicious occasion of the 1131st Nepal Nepal New Year being celebrated at home and abroad for the 3rd time since its was reinstalled in October 2008 as the national Era by the 1st democratic Government of Nepal elected in April of the same year. Thus we celebrate the 1131st Nepal National New Year with pomp and pageant at home and abroad wishing all concerned the best of good health, happiness and a year of prosperity. 
    Thanks to contributions by many of you, we were able to issue 1131st Nepal New Year Supplement this year, too. 2008. The supplement consists of important news, views and poem as below:News of Nepal’s 1131st National New Year and Messages: नेपालया मौलिक संवतयात छ्येलेगु व्यवस्थाया आवश्यकता (नेपाल भास व खस भासँ); आशा सफूकुथि (नेपाल भास व अंग्रेज भासँ); जपानया लागी नेपाल राजदूतया भिन्तुना प्रेस बक्तव्य; नेपाल संवत र सरकारी निर्णय; नेपाल संवतको महत्वमा नेपाल र नेवार को अर्थ, म्हपुजा-सामन्य ज्ञाण, Vikram Samvat and Nepal’s Distinct Identity, Our Heritage Asa Safukuthi, शान्ति १५ चिनाखँ। 
    Click here to read the 1131st New Year Supplement. If you have any linking difficulties, send in an email requesting your free copy to: contact@nepal-lipi-online.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Encoding Nepal scripts - A great incentive for the Newar youth to engage their dynamic and vibrant culture

- Dr. Carole Faucher*

I feel much honored to have been associated with prominent activists and scholars of the Newar community at the occasion of a consultative meeting held in Kathmandu on 20 March 2010 organized to discuss encoding Nepal scripts. My knowledge of Nepal and of the situation of the Newar is relatively basic at this point. However I would like to address the issue of encoding Nepal Lipi scripts from the perspective of an anthropologist specializing on Identity politics and power relations. In my research, which up to now has been based mostly in Southeast Asia, I tend to pay a specific attention to the role of language in shaping power relations. This is not a coincidence. I come from a country, Canada, which has been divided over language politics over much of its short history. The Quebec French-speaking community, to which I belong, has gone through decades of uncertainty and of struggle – mostly peacefully, before the French language finally gained the official recognition and status it possesses today at both provincial and national levels.

In Anthropology, we look at identity in terms of process. Collective identities, such as ethnicity and nationality, are continually being re-constructed through everyday life interactions. Ethnic identity is both situational and interactional and therefore should never be taken for granted. In all cases we are talking about an on-going process in which a large number of factors are involved. Ethnic identity is shaped through culture, and the enactment and reproduction of specific markers, such as religion, language, traditions, morality framework, shared historical memories and so on. We know who we are because there is some sort of consensus on these cultural markers among the members of our community. We live with these markers, we reproduce them through interaction, we transform them, adapt them, teach them through formal or informal means. Language is no doubt one of the most common - although often underestimated, markers for a large number of ethnic groups. It is through culture (in its anthropological sense) that we make sense of the world around us and locate ourselves in this world; it is through language that we interact with others and reproduce, teach, manage our culture. Spoken language is of course important, but nowadays, in this age of electronic media, written forms provide the users with a sense of belonging and of continuity, from classical texts to contemporary literature and even popular culture. All over the world today we regularly witness members of the younger generation describing the culture they were born into as out-of-fashion because it is not adequately represented in popular culture and electronic media. As I mentioned before, I see ethnicity and feeling of belonging as being constantly negotiated through everyday life interactions - this includes the interactions taking place in the cyberspace.

We can observe many cases of ethnic and national groups who have been socially and politically disempowered due to the lack of, or the systematic abolition through official means of the script historically associated with their spoken language. This is the case, for example of many Central Asian ethnic groups who have been imposed Cyrillic alphabet during Soviet period, or of former European colonies who are now using the Latin alphabet, of Lao, Thailand and Burmese minorities, North American indigenous groups and so on.

In my view, a script which has developed over centuries should ideally be re-united with the daily speech in order for the language to be recognized once again as fully operative. The Newar people of Nepal have the great advantage of having kept alive beautiful scripts as part of a rich set of cultural attributes. The project of encoding these scripts is in my view extremely important for the survival of the Newar culture: it will provide a strong tool to make the learning of the language more systematic, thus potentially helping to increase the number of users in everyday life communication. Lastly, the encoding will act as a great incentive for the youth to look at their Newar culture as dynamic and vibrant, encouraging them to continue to actively engage with it in their daily interaction in order to ensure its survival.
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* Professor in International Public Policy, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan joined the Consultative meeting of Nepal scripts encoding as a Guest of Honour at the invitation of Nepal Study Center, Japan and Nepal Lipi Guthi, Kathmandu.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Encoding Nepal Script: Consultative Meeting held in Kathmandu*

Kathmandu - The Nepal Lipi Guthi (Nepal Script Trust) organized a consultative meeting on encoding Nepal (Prachalit/popular) script at Harati Hotel in Kathmandu on Saturday (March 20, 2010). Prof. Premshanti Tuladhar, Head of Central Department of Nepal Bhasa of Tribhuwan University, Nepal was the chief guest of this well attended meeting presided by Nepal Lipi Guthi Chair Sharad Kasah ‘Kasah Chhen.’ At the meeting, Nepal Lipi Guthi’s academic member and former chair Sharad Kasah informed of the efforts in encoding Nepal script by several individuals in the past and presented a paper on Nepal Script Alphabet: A New Perspective for encoding.    
    Suwarn Vajracharya, Chair, Nepal Study Center Japan reported of efforts in encoding Nepal scripts being pursued at the international level and presented a paper on Encoding Nepal Scripts: A Report and Preliminary Proposal. Representing the user community, Naresh Bir Shakya, Editor-in-chief of Lipipau weekly and Nepal-lipi.com shared his view on the possibility of a greater benefit that encoding Nepal script can bring about in the field of communication. Professor in Linguistics Tejratna Kansakar commented on both papers presented at the meeting.
    Guest of Honour Professor at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba Japan Dr. Carole Faucher and Professor at University of Kathmandu Patrick Hall stressed the need of encoding Nepal script as Nepal Bhasa has a long and important history. Prof. Kashinath Tamot of Nepal-German Research Center made remarks about the new alphabets. Nepal Bhasa Academy Vice Chancellor Laxman Rajawamsi and Rajiv Shrestha of Lipithapu Guthi commended the efforts in encoding Nepal script. Chief Guest Professor Premshanti Tuladhar made remarks on the historical importance of the Nepal script’s encoding.
    The consultative meeting that commenced after offering a one minute silence in respect of Nepal Lipi Guthi’s patron, Late Pundit Hemraj Shakya will be submitting a report on the discussion and proposals seconded at this meeting to Unicode. The Nepal Script Unicode Committee headed by Sharad Kasah ‘Kasahchhen’ has appointed Suwarn Vajracharya resident in Japan as International Coordinator to coordinate in the task of encoding Nepal script.

What is Unicode?
Encoding script is a technical term. Once Nepal script is encoded, it can be viewed and activated in any brand of computer in the world, not limited only in some computers. Downloading of fonts will not be required any longer. Emails can be written in Nepal script in the same way other scripts such as English are used in writing emails. Not only that, but encoded Nepal script will also help us use all the facilities related to Nepal script. For example, words typed on the screen can also be automatically read out through available software.
    Though efforts are now being made to encode Nepal script, it is learnt that some parties in the US are giving preference to encode Ranjana script. The issue was also discussed at the meeting in Kathmandu and efforts for encoding Nepal script are being pursued at the public level. Scripts all over the world are being encoded at the initiatives of concerned governments. But in Nepal the initiatives have been taken by public level because the Government in Nepal has shown no interest in taking the needful initiative in favour of Nepal script. The Devanagari script, which the Government of Nepal claims to be Nepalese Script has already been encoded at the Indian initiative as script of Hindi language.
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* Click here to read the Nepal Bhasa version on Sandhya Times; click here to read the news in Nepal Bhasa & Khasa Bhasa versions

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Consultative Meeting on Encoding Nepal Script

नेपाल लिपि इन्कोडिङ यायेगु बारे सहलह ज्याझ्वः*
Press Release from Nepal-lipi.com

Feb. 21, 2010 (The International Day of Languages)

The Nepal-lipi.com is pleased to announce that a Consultative Meeting on Encoding Nepal Script to be held on March 20, 2010 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Interested individuals and parties to join the meeting on the following schedule, are kindly requested to register before March 7, 2010.

Event: Consultative Meeting on Encoding Nepal Script

Date & Time: March 20, 2010 (Satday) 13:00 - 17:00 (Followed by reception)
Venue: Nepal Lipi Guthi Building, Kathmandu

To be chaired by Dr. Padma Ratna Tuladhar (Chair, Nepal Study Center Advisory Board)

Papers to be presented by Mr. Sharad Kasah (Chair, Nepal Lipi Guthi and, Coordinator Nepal Lipi Encoding Committee); Mr. Naresh Sakya (Editor in Chief, Nepal-lipi.com and Lipi-pau); Mr. Suwarn Vajracharya (Chair, Nepal Study Center and, International Coordinator, Nepal Lipi Encoding Committee)

Invited dignitaries include Language and Script experts - Nepal Bhasa Academy Chancellor Satya Mohan Joshi, Vice Chancellor Laxman Rajawansi, TU Nepal Bhasa Department Head, Prof. Dr. Premshanti Tuladhar, Prof. Dr. Carole Faucher (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan), Prof. Kashinath Tamot (Nepal German Research Center) and Prof. Patrick Hall of Kathmandu University.

Deadline : March 7, 2010, Please fill in the Registration Form to join the meeting.
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* To read Nepal Bhasa version (Nepal script) of this news article, please click here