|2.2 million (2011 census)|
Kumaoni Language Speakers in India (2011 Census)
Kumaoni (कुमाऊँनी; pronounced [kuːmɑːʊni]) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by over two million people of the Kumaon region of the state of Uttarakhand in northern India and parts of Doti region in Western Nepal. As per 1961 survey there were 1,030,254 Kumaoni speakers in India. The number of speakers increased to 2.2 million in 2011.
Kumaoni is not endangered but UNESCO's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger designates it as a language in the unsafe category, meaning it requires consistent conservation efforts.
Kumaoni uses the Devanagari script.
There are several dialects spoken in the Kumaon region. There is not single accepted method of dividing up the dialects of Kumaoni. Broadly speaking, Kali (or Central) Kumaoni is spoken in Almora and northern Nainital. North-eastern Kumaoni is spoken in Pithoragarh. South-eastern Kumaoni is spoken in South-eastern Nainital. Western Kumaoni is spoken west of Almora and Nainital.
Some Kumaoni speakers are also reportedly found in Western Nepal.
Various Kumaoni text have been found from the Katyuri and Chand era on temple stones and as copper plate inscriptions. Kumaoni was also the official language of the Kumaon Kingdom.
Being part of the Indo-Aryan dialect continuum Kumauni shares its grammar with other Indo-Aryan languages like Dotyali, Nepali, Hindi, Rajasthani, Kashmiri and Gujarati. It shares much of its grammar with the other language of the Central Pahari group like Garhwali. The peculiarities of grammar in Kumaoni and other Central Pahari languages exist due to the influence of the now extinct language of the Khasas, the first inhabitants of the region. In Kumauni the verb substantive is formed from the root ach, as in both Rajasthani and Kashmiri. In Rajasthani its present tense, being derived from the Sanskrit present rcchami, I go, does not change for gender. But in Pahari and Kashmiri it must be derived from the rare Sanskrit particle *rcchitas, gone, for in these languages it is a participial tense and does change according to the gender of the subject. Thus, in the singular we have: - Here we have a relic of the old Khasa language, which, as has been said, seems to have been related to Kashmiri. Other relics of Khasa, again agreeing with north-western India, are the tendency to shorten long vowels, the practice of epenthesis, or the modification of a vowel by the one which follows in the next syllable, and the frequent occurrence of disaspiration. Thus, Khas siknu, Kumauni sikhno, but Hindi sikhna, to learn; Kumauni yeso, plural yasa, of this kind.
Conjugation of the verb Lekh (लेख) to write, in all three tenses in Kumaoni.
तू लेख छे
tu lekh chhe
तुम लेख छो
tum lekh chho
ऊँ लेखन छन
un lekhan chhan
I will write
we will write
you will write
you will write
he will write
they will write
|जै देव||Jai Dev||Hello Formal.|
|पैलाग||Pailaag||Hi/Hello (lit. touch your feet as a sign of respect used by younger members to greet older members)|
|कस हेरे छे?||Kas hare chhe?||How are you? Informal|
|कस हेरो छा?||Kas haro cha||How are you? Formal|
|भल हेरो||Bhal hero||I am fine|
|काँ जाण छा?||kaa jaan chha?||Where are you going|
|कतु?||Katu?||How much?/How many?|
|के हेगो?||Ke hego.||What happened?|
|तुमऱ नौ के छ?||Tumar nau ke che?||What is your name?|
|बेरे घर (ध्याव ) ऐै जया||Baere ghyav ajayaa||Come home early|
|आपूं कां बटे आछा?||Aapoun kan bate aachcha?||From where do you come?|
|को जाल बजार?||Ko jal Baazar||Who will go to market?|
|ओ बबो||O babo||Oh my god!|
There have been demands to include Kumaoni along with Garhwali in the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India so that it could be made one of the Scheduled Language of India. In 2010, a private member's bill was introduced for discussion in the Lok Sabha whose aim was to include Garhwali and Kumaoni in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
However In a step to promote and protect indigenous languages in December 2019 Government of the state introduced Official Kumaoni Books for Classes 1-5 students of kumaon division Schools.
Kumaoni language has had many noteworthy writers, prominent among them are
Kumaoni theatre which developed through its 'Ramleela' plays, later evolved into a modern theatre form with the efforts of theatre stalwarts like Mohan Upreti, Naima Khan Upreti and Dinesh Pandey, and groups like 'Parvatiya Kala Kendra' (started by Mohan Upreti) and 'Parvatiya Lok Kala Manch'. "Ankhar" of Lucknow did a very good work in the field of kumaoni theater. Ankhar played a number of kumauni plays like "mee yo gayun, mee yo satkyun" writer Nand Kumar Upreti, "Punturi" by Charu Chandra Pandey, "Motor Road" by Govind Ballabh Pant, "Labh Ribhadi" writer Nand Kumar Upreti, "Kagare Aag" and "Tumhare Liye" by Himanshu Joshi, Kumauni translation Naveeen Joshi and कुमाउनी नाटक-जैल थै, वील पै.
Folk song genres include ceremonial mandals, martial panwaras and melancholy khuded, thadya, and jhoda.
Musical instruments used in Kumaon music include thedhol, damoun, turri, ransingha, dholki, daur, thali, bhankora, andmasakbhaja. Tabla and harmonium are also used, but to a lesser extent.
Some prominent singers are:
In the early 1990s songs on the turning life style mainly on the one who are heading towards town being made in which meri kumau ki gaadi, hit meri punjaban billo uttarakhand pahara, bwaari tamaaku pija etc. criticize the changing attitude in kumaoni society, the songs of mohan manral straight away criticize of the changing mindset of metropolitan kumaoni society running away from their roots.