Monday, May 30, 2016

Tulu Catholics - Padvals

During the sixteenth and seventeenth century, a significantly large number of Goan Catholics, migrated to Canara due to a variety of reasons. The arrival of the Christians, particularly from Goa to the Canara was neither completely voluntary no completely peaceful. The migration was the result of religious, political, economic, cultural, social and other causes.Padvals were the local Catholic converts of South Canara and did not mix with the Christian immigrants from Goa. Padval is evidently the konkanised form of aJain Bunt surname Padival, and thus historian Severine Silva in his The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India (1965), speculates that the Padvals in the Christian community were Jain converts. Their descendants constitute a minor caste among the Mangalorean Catholics of Dakshina Kannada. According to Mangalorean genealogist Michael Lobo, the major Padval clans are the Rodrigues family of Ambepol, BantwalBejai, Nod and Kadri; Tauro family of Bantwal, Kodialbail and Kankanadi; Lobo family of Bellore, Derebail and Mermajal; and D'Souza family of Bejai, Kadri and Vamanjoor.

The actual mother tongue of these people was tulu but because of intermarriage with konkani catholic, lack of tulu services in church and this was tiny population they later got mixed with major chunk of Konkani Catholic. Thats how their mother tongue tulu was replaced by konkani.

This is the reason we have tamil, telugu, kannada, malayalam, marathi, punjabi speaking Catholics but not Tulu...

21 Kodava-speaking communities in Kodagu

There are 21 Kodava-speaking communities in Kodagu against the 18 mentioned in a book, Kodava Bhashika Moola Nivasiya, published by the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy here.
These communities speak Kodava and follow the same dress code and food habits, celebrate festivals in a similar manner and consider the "Guru Karona" (ancestor) as their god. They also worship Nature. Each community has a family name. Most of the communities have "Ain Mane'' (ancestral house). Though they speak Kodava, they have remained scattered in different groups.
Kodava is the predominant community among them. Kodavas are in the forefront in all spheres. Though there are several attributes to the origin of Kodavas, it is an established fact they have been the principal tribe of Kodagu. There are over 800 Kodava families with a population of two lakh.
Kodava Bhashika Moola Nivasiya mentions about the "Heggade" community, which has 57 families with a population of 11,000. The "Amma Kodava" community has a small population in the district. "Amma Kodavas" are believed to be once the principal "archaks" of Kodagu. "Airi" is the other Kodava-speaking community. "Airis" are known for making Kodava ornaments such as "peechekatti'' worn by men. "Kaniyas'', who speak Kodava, are believed to have migrated from Kerala, who specialise in astrology. There are minor differences between Kodavas and Kaniyas in terms of observing rituals. "Kapalas'' are the poorest of the Kodava-speaking communities with a population of 300. They do not have family names, but have "Ain Mane''.
There are "Poomale Kudiyas'' who have made the hilly areas of the district their homes. The "Kembatti'' community comes under the Scheduled Caste category in Kodagu. Though "Kembattis" follow the Kodava culture, they have remained backward. The "Koyuva''; "Koleya''; "Golla''; "Nayar''; "Nayinda'' (barbar); "Panika''; "Banna'', which has two groups - "Aat Banna" and "Alak Banna"; "Baaniya''; "Boonepatta''; "Madivala''; "Maliya'', which specialises in herbal medicine; "Marangi''; and "Meda'' are the other communities that have adopted the Kodava custom in true spirit.
There have been talks of bringing these Kodava-speaking communities under one umbrella.
The president of the Akhila Kodava Samaja, Matanda C. Monnappa, said the idea was still there and it only had to be expedited. Members of the "Koyuva'' community with "Chokira'' family name at Srimangala in South Kodagu were taken into the Kodava fold in the 1980s. Similarly, there were applications pending with the samaja from "Airis'' and "Bannas'' to take them into the Kodava fold, he added.
The idea is to foster the unique Kodava culture followed by these communities. There are instances where Kodava girls marrying non-Kodavas taken into the Kodava fold by giving them new family names.

Friday, May 13, 2016

28 must have dishes from 28 Indian States

28 Must Have Dishes From 28 Indian States

Every state in India has different taste and cooking style. Here’s a list of some authentic, must have, local dishes indigenous to the various Indian states.

1. Andhra Pradesh


It is an authentic Andhra pickle made from sorrel leaves and tastes delicious with a plate of hot steamed rice and onion.
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2. Arunachal Pradesh


You will love this pork dish cooked with sengmora leaves. Generally served with rice, be sure to try this out with some traditional Arunachali Apong (rice beer).
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3. Assam


Masor Tenga is a mouth-watering sour fish curry made from freshwater river fish and tomatoes, kajinemu (elongated lemon) or thekera (dried mangosteen). It is delicately spiced with exotic tastes and flavours.
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4. Bihar


This lip-smacking, crunchy dish from Bihar consists of Litti (wheat balls stuffed with Pitthi – roasted and spiced gram flour) and Chokha (char-grilled aubergines or mashed potatoes). It tastes delicious with pure desi ghee on the side.
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5. Chhattisgarh


Dehrori is a delicious festive dessert from the state of Chhattisgarh, usually prepared on Diwali eve. It consists of fried rice dumplings dipped in sugar syrup and garnished with nuts.
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6. Goa


Along with its dominant seafood cuisine, Goa is famous for this authentic and exquisite pudding dessert. The traditional Bebinca is made of 16 layers and is served warm with cold ice cream. Try this out the next time you are in Goa.
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7. Gujarat


It is a delicious savoury snack made from gram flour and yoghurt, tempered with sesame,  mustard seeds and flavoured with green chillies, sprinkled coconut and coriander.
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8. Haryana


This is a porridge (khichdi) made of coarsely crushed pearl millet and is eaten with pure ghee or sesame oil. Side dishes like lassi, papad, pickles, gur or curd takes this dish to a whole new level.


9. Himachal Pradesh


Madra is a traditional Pahadi gravy dish made from an unique combination of chick peas, yogurt, coconut, almonds and raisins. It has a wonderful aromatic flavour and tastes delicious.
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10. Jammu and Kashmir


Kalaadi is a traditional local hill cheese, indigenous to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is very dense, usually made from cow’s milk. You cannot afford to miss this divine taste if you are in J&K streets.
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11. Jharkhand


Rugda is a variety of mushroom indigenous to the forests of Jharkhand. It is very healthy and tastes great with rice or poori. If you visit Jharkhand during the monsoon season, give it a try.
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12. Karnataka


This is a rich, dark and spicy pork curry generally served with a flat bread called ‘Akki roti’. An ethnic delicacy of the Coorgi cuisine, Pandi curry takes you to the hills of the Western Ghats.
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13. Kerala


Irachi ishtu is an authentic Keralean stew made with chicken, beef or lamb. This lip-smacking dish is served best with appam or plain bread.
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14. Madhya Pradesh


Bhutte ka kees is a spicy grated sweetcorn dish from the land of magical chaats, Indore. Do try this out the next time you visit there.
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15. Maharashtra


This is a multi-grain pancake made from roasted chana daal, urad daal, wheat, sorghum, millet, rice and mildly spiced with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, onion, fresh coriander etc. It is nutritious, has bursts of flavour and is served best with buffalo milk cream.
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16. Manipur


Chamthong or Kangshoi is a soupy stew of seasonal vegetables, coarsely chopped onions or spring onion, dried or fried fish pieces and water. It tastes delicious with rice. Make sure to taste this exotic Manipuri dish if you are there.
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17. Meghalaya


Meghalaya is best known for the dish ‘Jadoh’ – red hill rice cooked with pork pieces. It is a khasi version of biriyani. Next time you are in Meghalaya, do not miss this authentic and delectable Khasi dish.
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18. Mizoram


This is an ethnic Mizo delicacy prepared by boiling meat and rice together. It is a kind of stew made from pork, lamb or chicken. Absolutely delicious, it is surely a must have.
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19. Nagaland


Naga signature dry bamboo shoots with pork, a dish that you will love to the very core if you are a meat maniac. Cooked with dry bamboo shoots, loads of chillies and herbs, this dish tastes heavenly with boiled rice.
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20. Odisha


This is an Oriya dessert made from baked ricotta cheese. It is a sort of ‘Indian cheesecake’ and is absolutely mind blowing. Check it out when you visit Odisha.
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21. Punjab


This is a famous traditional Punjabi delicacy. ‘Makki Roti’ is a corn meal Indian bread that tastes fabulous with ‘Sarson saag’ – mustard green and a glass of lassi.
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22. Rajasthan


Malai Ghewar is a round shaped Rajasthani festive dessert. It is made from milk, flour and pure ghee. You may find this dish in other parts of India, but the ones from Rajasthan are incomparable and divine.
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23. Sikkim


This is one of the many delicious dishes of Sikkim. It is made of strips of dried pork-fat stewed with radishes,turnips and dried chillies.
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24. Tamil Nadu


You will find this cool, refreshing and healthy dish in the streets of Tamil Nadu. It is a porridge made from millet and stored in earthen pots.
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25. Tripura


Awan Bangwi is an ethnic Tripuri cake made from guria rice, onion, ginger, cashew-nuts, raisins, ghee, pork pieces and lard and garnished with various herbs. The cake is wrapped in a special leaf called ‘Lairu’. If you ever happen to visit Tripura, give this delicacy a try.
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26. Uttar Pradesh


Baingan ki lonje is a mouth-watering dish from Uttar Pradesh that consists of stuffed aubergines. The spicy and tangy filling gives out a fabulous taste and flavour.
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27. Uttarakhand


It is a chocolaty coloured fudge, made by roasting evaporated milk cream with cane sugar and is coated with white sugar balls. This exquisite dessert is a delicacy of the state of Uttarakhand.
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28. West Bengal


It is a traditional Bengali preparation of mild and soupy mustard prawn curry, filled inside a green coconut. The divine aroma of the tender coconut water and kernel gets infused in the prawns, giving them a fabulous flavour. Daab chingri tastes best with a plate of steaming boiled rice.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tulu Language : Its script & Dialects

Tulu Language: Its Script and Dialects

Tulu language is one of the five Dravidian languages of South India (Pancha- Bhasha, others are Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). The four major languages spoken today are dominantly spoken in their respective states (Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala), whereas Tulu is spoken in a small niche, mainly in coastal Karnataka and Northern Karala (Kasaragod district). About 2.5 million people speak Tulu and call it their mother tongue. Tulu nadu is a region where many languages are spoken. While Kannada is the official state language, different ethnic communities in Tulu Nadu speak different languages. Tulu, derived from proto-Dravidian is the predominant language spoken by Hindus of various castes and by the Jains of Tulu Nadu. Konkanasthas and Catholics speak two variants of Konkani. Muslims speak a language of their own that is derived from Tulu as well as Malayalam.

There are about 24 Dravidian languages recognized by linguists. Of these the five languages in the South developed into major languages. Tulu is the only developed language that has not received the recognition it is due. However, Tulu language with its near extinct script has been generating much enthusiasm amongst the linguists, as it is now believed to be one of the oldest Dravidian languages.

The Script

The Tulu language has lost its prominence as a major language. Lack of serious literature in Tulu language has also hampered its claim as a language to be taught in educational institutes. Though it is certain that most of the literature has been lost because of difficulties in preserving palm leaf scrolls, the earliest literature available is from the 15th century. This indeed is a much later work than the language itself, which is thousands of years old. There was also some confusion regarding the script of Tulu language, which closely resembles Malayalam. It was thought that priests from Tulu Nadu went south to Kerala to perform and learn Agama Sastra rituals, where they jotted notes borrowing the Malayalam alphabets. This was the prevailing thought of many researches although now there is a consensus that Tulu language possessed its own script before Malayalam script existed. Perhaps the reciprocal is true that the Malayalam script developed from Tulu script as the language predates Malayalam by more than a thousand years. The priests who went south are now credited with carrying mantras written in Tulu script to Kerala. Like Tamil and Malayalam, Tulu script is derived from the Grantha* script.

Sample of the basic Grantha Script

Tulu Alphabets

The earliest piece of literature, Tulu Mahabharata is from the 15th century written in Tulu script. Another manuscript that was discovered Tulu Devimahatme, a prose work like the Mahabharata, is also from the 15th century. Two epic poems written in 17th century namely Sri Bhagavata and Kaveri have also been found. Madhvacharya’s eight matts established in Udupi in the 13th century were centers of Tulu literature during his lifetime and thereafter. However, very little of this has survived. So it is not inconceivable (as it is claimed) that Madhvacharya himself did all his writings in the Tulu script. Other inscriptions discovered are Sanskrit mantras transliterated in Tulu script. It appears as though the Brahmins used the script mainly for this purpose.

In the first half of 19th century the German missionaries undertook a renaissance of the language. Unfortunately, they published Tulu literature and materials related to Christianity in the Kannada script as they had established printing presses in that language in Mangalore. In addition the German missionaries also produced Tulu lexicon and Tulu-English dictionary. They are also credited with transcription of Tulu folklore, Tulu proverbs and works on spirit worship in Tulu Nadu. Printing material in the Kannada script led to further disuse of the original Tulu script. By late 19th century Tulu script became remote and was endangered. Today there are no books or literature in the Tulu script and there are only a handful of Tuluvas who can read the script.

All the classic literatures discovered thus far are written only in one of the four dialects of the language, namely the Brahmin dialect. The dialect spoken by Brahmins in the southern part of Tulu Nadu is used in these manuscripts. The priests belonged to a sect of Tuluva Brahmins called the Shivalli Brahmins. (Only the Shivalli and the Sthanika sects in Tulu Nadu spoke the Brahmin dialect.) Tulu script was used by these Brahmins

to write mantras. The Brahmin dialect also has imported many Sanskrit words into its dialect and lexicon. The Common dialect, which is spoken by the non-Brahmin class, was not used in writings of Tulu. However, the Common dialect is used in many of the folk songs, proverbs and riddles. The folk songs called the Paaddanas are treasures reflective of the rich culture of Tulu Nadu. They also allow a glimpse into the society of Tuluva people. These were never written down and have been passed on through generations as oral traditional songs.

The Language and its Dialects

Research in Tulu language and script has been sorely lacking. In 1856 Robert Caldwell undertook a systematic study of the Tulu language with his monumental work, “A Comparative Grammar of Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages.” Caldwell called Tulu one of the most developed Dravidian languages. In 1872 J. Bigel wrote, “Grammar of The Tulu Language.” Then in the 20th century S. U. Panniyadi and L.V. Ramaswamy Iyer published more books about its grammar. These authors contended that the language was well developed, and was one of the earliest off-shoots of proto-South Dravidian language, with many dialectal variations. (Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada also were derived from it, whereas Telugu was derived from proto-Central Dravidian). There is renewed interest in the language as evidenced by the fact that many universities both in India and abroad are promoting more research of Tulu language.  Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Research Center in Udupi has encouraged such research. Dr. D.N. Shankar Bhat and Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya have been doing commendable, ongoing research in the field.

From Encyclopedia Britannica

Different regions within Tulu Nadu developed its own dialect of the language. The language developed with various dialects and peculiarities, unimpeded by the proximity of the regions. Five main such geographical divisions with dialectal variations can be seen.

1. Southwest: comprising of Kasargod District of Kerala
2. Southeast: Includes Sullia and Kodagu
3. South Central: comprising of Puttur, Belthangady and Bantwal
4. Northwest: area including Mangalore and Udupi
5. Northeast: includes Karkala.

Other languages have influenced some of the dialects in these regions. Thus Malayalam may have influenced Tulu in the Southwest (Kasargod), whereas in other areas Kannada has influenced it. The differences in the society also influenced the dialects. Brahmins developed their own dialect influenced by Sanskrit that they were proficient in. Four main social dialects have developed.

1. Brahmin Dialect
2. Jain Dialect
3. Common Dialect and
4. Harijan/Tribal Dialect

Brahmin Dialect - spoken by Shivalli and Sthanika Brahmins - is the language used in writing the few classical literature discovered thus far. They also borrowed Sanskrit words and pronunciation of words. Even the local Dravidian words were enunciated with retroflex words (unusual in Dravidian languages, where non-retroflex sounds are used).

Jain Dialect spoken by the Jains in the northern part of Tulu nadu. They have a distinct dialect where the initial t and s have been replaced by letter h. As an example the word tare (head) is pronounced as hare. Saadi (path) is haadi.

Common Dialect is spoken by the majority of people (non-Brahmins) of Tulu Nadu, and is the dialect of commerce, entertainment and art. It is the language of the Paaddana. It is subdivided into more than five groups as spoken by Bunts, Billavas, Mogaveeras, Gowdas and Kumabaras etc. Due to the similarity in these dialects, they are grouped under the common heading of Common Dialect or Common Tulu. The borrowed Sanskrit words in this dialect are invariably altered to a non-retroflex sound unlike in the Brahmin dialect where the words are pronounced just as in Sanskrit.

Harijan and Tribal Dialect is spoken by the Mera, Mansa, Harijan and Tribal classes. They closely resemble the Common dialect though in the South they still have maintained their distinction. The sound c replaces the sounds t, s, and c of other dialects. Hence tare is care and saadi is caadi. Onasu (meal) is pronounced onacu. Non-retroflex words are pronounced with retroflex in this dialect. New words like baanaaru (Brahmin), jeerklu/jeerlu (children), dekke/meere/korage (husband) and dikkalu/meerti/korappolu (wife) are also found in this dialect.

There is a common perception that there are only two kinds of Tulu dialects, namely Brahmin and Common. Dr. P Kekunnaya suggests studying the language in four different dialects by combining both geographical variations in the dialects and the different social dialects. Hence the divisions studied are:

1. Sb: Brahmin dialect of Southwest, Southeast and South Central region.
2. Sc: Common dialects of the same regions in the South
3. Nb: Brahmin dialects of Northwest and Northeast.
4. Nc: Common dialects of the same regions in the North.

Some of the differences in the words and sounds used by the Brahmin dialect and the Common dialect in the Northern regions have disappeared or are nearly imperceptible now. However, in the Southern regions, the differences are more commonly maintained and are more apparent.

Some examples of different dialects are cited here.

Iklegunikleguniinklegunigaleguto you (pl.)
meklemeklemoklemoguleof these persons
oletteletteoleteletteI called
barepribarepujjibarepribarepujidoes not write

In conclusion, it is fair to say that Tulu is one of the five major Dravidian languages, the script of which has not received the attention it is due. The Tulu script was mainly used to write Sanskrit mantras by the priestly class. Lack of serious literature before 15th century hampered its claim as one of the legitimate South Indian languages. Some literary works have been unearthed recently. The German missionaries in the early 19th century, perhaps, did much disservice to the Tulu script as they opted to transliterate Christian literature into Tulu language but used Kannada script to do so. But they are also credited with introducing print medium to the language, though in the Kannada script, thus helping in preserving many of the dying stories and folk songs.  The dominance of Kannada print medium led to further disuse of the script. Currently there are no attempts at resurrecting Tulu language or the scripts in the universities and other institutions in the Tulu Nadu. The language and the script had remained a curiosity for researchers until recently but now there seems to be renewed interest in this ancient language. There seems to be some hope for a Tulu renaissance mainly because of works done by Padmanabha Kekunnaya, Drs. U.P and Susheela P Upadhyaya and the diligent work in the Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra in Udupi.

There are many households in Tulu Nadu with many Tulu manuscripts and inscriptions, especially in the Brahmin homes. Many have been lost because of lack of interest in attempts to preserving them. Though most of these are Sanskrit mantras written in the Tulu script their numbers must be significantly high.  Much effort and resources need to be spent towards research of the language of Tulu Nadu and its unique script.

References: A major source of reference for this article is Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya’s thesis, “A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects.” Other referral sources are “Renaissance in Tulu literature” and “Tulu Lexicon:A New Experiment in Dictionary Making” both by Dr. U. P. Upadhyaya.

*Grantha script: emerged from the Gupta script that in turn was derived from Brahmi script. Grantha script developed in the 5th and 6th century C.E. Veda Vyasa was said to have written the Vedas in the Grantha script. This led to the postulation that the Vedas were written down much later than their origins as oral traditions. This also suggests that the Tulu script developed much later than the language itself. All the Dravidian literature developed from Grantha script after the 5th century C.E. However, there is literature in Tamil dating back to 3rd century B.C.E. to 3rd century C.E. (Sangam literature). Currently Sanskrit language is written in Nagari script that developed in the 7th century C.E.