Preserving Sindhi Culture
My self is not a social reformer but still many times my cerebral cortex gets teased with the questions related to vanishing of rich Sindhi customs & traditions from our life. My thought process suggest me many steps, should be taken for preserving our life values enriched heritage and sindhi culture.
Sindhi Family Name : Surname
The origin of sindhi surnames lies with the name of elder generations ago. Remember our surnames are indicative as they represent name of our fore fathers for example Mangharmal is being represented as Manghirmalani , Daultramani is representing Daultram, Rochlani is representing Rochomal while the Sadhwani represents Sadhuram and so on, hence we should not change our surnames meagerly due to reason that others found it difficult to pronounce, spell or write. Remember surname ending with “ni” is the unique and distinctive identification mark of the Sindhi community.
The relation of language and community is that of soul & body. Can you Keep body of your died relative for several days with you no surely not, why because the soul has left the body , the same will happen with a community, if the language of a community is died, society will not be ready to keep the community.
Today what is situation of Sindhi language we are being encircled with the storms of Arabic & Devnagiri Script? We for our comfort forgetting that this situation of not deciding will results in the form of vanishing of sindhi language from the life of coming generations of our community, what more worst situation we will face that we are forced to use other language so that our reach to people of sindhi community can be extended. As I spent a major part of my professional life as a secondary school teacher hence I dare to suggest a few things for the preservation, use & propagation of the sindhi language :-
1] Ask every body at home to speak in Sindhi with each other at least when we all are together. Instead of using uncle / aunty stress should be given on use of Mama / Chacha or Mami / Chachi.
2] In many cities specially in India, Sindhis are associated with the management of schools and educational institutions, in all such institutions sindhi either in the form of medium of teaching or as one subject must be made compulsory for the students belonging to sindhi community either in Devanagiri or in Arabic script.
3] Schools, colleges and business houses should keep provision for grating aids for higher studies in the sindhi language, remember that we the Sindhis are belonging to most scattered community of the world society and are without a political / Geographical state hence we have to do for us without the government help.
Literature is said to be the mirror of the community. Think about the situation of Sindhi literature in present time? I personally, have seen many writers collecting donations for publishing their work, which they usually distribute free, beside some copies are sold to government libraries. All the news papers and periodicals being published in Sindhi had stopped publication or on the verge of doing because due to non affordability with respect of economics. What steps should be taken to reverse the situations:-
1] Consider the Industrial status of Japan in 1947, all was destroyed and there was almost nil infrastructure for the industry, but the hardworking and determined Japanese community decided to use only the goods manufactured in the factories of Japan, which may by costly than other available in the market. This dedication and determination resulted in to making the Japan king of Industrial growth of the era after Second World War. The same determination and dedication we Sindhis have to adopt for our literature, hence the building of sindhi literature constructed by one like Prof. Ram Panjwani, Popati Hiranandani & others, on the foundation stones laid by Sachal, Sami, & Shah may become the most beautiful building in the buildings of the world literature.
2] Business Houses from our community must come forward to support literature, like publishing a good periodical in Sindhi language as they can afford the economically loss occurred during the process.
3] Similarly each of them can sponsor an award for the upcoming writers & poets. Organisations like the World Sindhi Congress, can arrange an annual function at different places to honor the chosen personalities and distribute the awards.
4] Cultural Programs must be arranged and artist must be provided the chance of showing their expertise and skills in field of play etc.
5] A World level new organization should be constituted for organizing the various cultural programs and hold competition for the upcoming artist and writers. This responsibility can also be given to institute like the World Sindhi Congress.
Imaging the situation of India, a country where Parsi Day is among the list of Holidays declared by government, most of the people doesn’t know any thing about the “Cheti Chand “ the new year day of sindhi community.
Remember if you don’t respect your self nobody will respect you. The same is correct for the festivals, today in Maharashtra Sindhis are celebrating the Ganesh Festival or participating in Durga Pooja at Calcutta, but many of us forget about our own festivals. Do move with time but remember to be touch of your own sindhi culture. customs and traditional festivals.
Preserving Sindhi Culture
So dear friends we must awake to keep our customs & traditions alive for which we must:-
1] Mark our annual work with holiday on Cheti Chand. All the commercial activities of Sindhis must be kept closed world wide on this day.
2] In every city, irrespective of the population Sindhis in that particular city, this day must be celebrated with all the enthusiasm, procession of “ Bahrana Sahib “ should pass from the main roads of the city.
3] In the cities, with higher population of Sindhis, like Ulhasnagar, Akola, Ajmer, Indore, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Surat, etc. Instead of several procession of Bahrana Sahib only one should be taken out and all the community people must go to river bank.
4] If possible on this day an exhibition, cultural program or some thing like that, reflecting the sindhi customs and traditions must be arranged so other communities can know about our heritage.
5] All most in all the cities where Sindhis are living, Panchayats are also in existence, it must be made compulsory for every Panchayat to host at least two state / National level programs for the Sindhi culture and literature.
We must start supporting every thing, every single, even the smallest effort, taken either by an institution or by an individual, for the preservation and propagation of sindhi language, culture, customs and traditions. Ever merciful God has blessed our community with the talent related to business hence we never are in short of material wealth and if we decide that every sindhi will donate just 1% of income for the cause a real huge amount can be collected.
We must start celebrating all over the world Sindhi Week, during which at every city, where the population of Sindhis is more than 50 families, during this week with the participation of local and invited Writers, Poets and Artist a cultural program can be arranged. Similarly a two three day annual meet of Sindhis must be arranges at various cities.
Sindhi Panchayat & other Sindhi social organisations from every Indian city having considerable Sindhi population should come forward for hosting annual state or national level Sindhi Samelan so the scattered Sindhis get a chance of interacting and exchanging the thoughts.