Bhojpuri Parivar Determined to Preserve Bhojpuri Culture

Rohit J. Singh, founder of Bhojpuri Parivar of California.

Rohit J. Singh, founder of Bhojpuri Parivar of California.

LOS ANGELES, Calif., United States: Living miles away from the home state, it is difficult to sustain your original roots and pass on to the upcoming generation one’s own language and culture. Now, those individuals seeking to preserve their Bhojpuri culture need not to worry as Bhojpuri Parivar is one such association which is trying its best to promote and preserve the “Bhojpuri” language, culture and traditions in the U.S. and Canada.

Bhojpuri Parivar is a nonprofit organization registered in California. Based on the social and cultural needs of Bhojpuri families, the association has been in existence for several years but it was given a formal shape only in 2013.

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Bhojpuri Parivar is now working towards linking all American Bhojpuriyas with each other seeking to provide a medium of interaction among them by hosting conventions, meetings and annual fairs. Its aim is to encourage people to learn, write and speak Bhojpuri, as well as striving to create awareness and increase the popularity of Bhojpuri music and arts in the U.S. and Canada. Bhojpuri Parivar is also working towards providing academic opportunities in U.S. schools and universities with Bhojpuri as a medium of instruction.

“Bhojpuri Parivar has a set of short-term and long-term goals. One of the short-term goals of Bhojpuri Parivar is to provide a platform to all families who come from a rich and diverse back ground of Bhojpuri culture and feel isolated even among Indian communities in the metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco,” Rohit J. Singh, founder of the Bhojpuri Parivar, told India-West. “Bhojpuri Parivar connects families by organizing festivals, shows and seminars on Bhojpuri traditions and culture. An example of a long-term goal is to be a partner with other worldwide Bhojpuri associations and the governments in preserving and promoting the language and culture by organizing gala events, film festivals, and finding resources to preserve and archive the old literature.”

There are currently over 300 members of Bhojpuri Parivar. As of now the group has a solid foundation in California, predominantly in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, but hope to expand to other states.

There are approximately 150 million Bhojpuri speakers worldwide, according to Singh. But intellectuals of Bhojpuri community have been genuinely concerned about the threats that Bhojpuri as a language and culture is facing by more popular languages surrounding Bhojpuri regions in India and in several other countries such as Fiji, Mauritius, Surinam and West Indies. “If no additional efforts are made to preserve it then soon this language will get extinct, most of the words and phrases will be absorbed by other languages. It’s our humble request to all Bhojpurians to instill importance of preserving Bhojpuri language and traditions in youths and be proud of our culture and heritage,” said Singh.

One of the most important initiatives of Bhojpuri Parivar is to develop a curriculum for teaching Bhojpuri to kids and adults in the U.S. and Canada who are interested in learning the language. “President Obama in 2009 recognized and recommended Bhojpuri (among other languages) for Americans to learn. Hence, Bhojpuri Parivar would like to tap on president’s recommendation and if schools agree then we will provide volunteers to teach basic Bhojpuri for free to kids from elementary through 12th grade,” Singh told India-West. The group is also supporting a petition for recognition of Bhojpuri as an official language of India.

Among upcoming Bhojpuri Parivar events include “Holi Milan” on Mar. 22.

By Indiawest