The Long-Awaited Recognition of the Ladakhi Bhoti Language
Dear Siddhartha Supporters,
I am pleased to share with you a moment of great achievement by the people of Ladakh. For many decades there has been much debate over whether or not the traditional Ladakhi language, called Bhoti, is to be recognized as an official language in the Indian Constitution. This long-awaited demand of Ladakhis has finally passed its initial stages, when a Ladakhi member of Parliament,
Photo: Mr. Tsering Angchuk, Siddhartha School Secretary and Foreign Liaison, with his son Gaisem.
Mr. Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, successfully led the effort to pass the bill. It will now face another vote in the Upper House, but Ladakhis are hopeful. As a response to the newly passed bill, Ladakh’s autonomous body, called the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), has officially declared April 4 as Bhoti Language Day.
So How Does This Affect Siddhartha School?
From this day forward, the Siddhartha School will honor April 4 as its mother tongue day. To celebrate the new development, this year students from grades 1st to 10th took part in a written Bhoti (Tibetan) handwriting competition, and teachers also participated to honor the passing vote.
The winners received certificates, distributed by our senior-most drivers, Mr. Lobzang Tsering and Mr. Nawang Tsondus. See below for photos and details.
Mr. Tsering Angchuk
Siddhartha School Secretary and Foreign Liaison
More Facts about the Bhoti Language
Bhoti Ladakhi (pictured above) is a Tibetic language spoken in Ladakh, a region administered by India as a union territory. It is the predominant language in the Buddhist-dominated district of Leh (Siddhartha School’s district). Though a member of the Tibetic family, Ladakhi is not mutually intelligible with standard Tibetan.
Ladakhi is usually written using Tibetan script, with the pronunciation of Ladakhi being much closer to written classical Tibetan than most other Tibetic languages. Ladakhis pronounce many of the prefixes, suffixes, and head letters that are silent in many other Tibetic languages.
Photos: (below, top to bottom) The winners of the Bhoti writing competition are Tsering Wangyal, grade 3, Stanzin Deasal, grade 5 (sponsored by Katrina Bergh), and Yangchan Karin Ikeda, grade 7. Mrs. Tenzin Lhadon (senior English teacher) was the winner of the teachers’ competition.