GUWAHATI: Sikari Tisso, a noted litterateur from Karbi Anglong, found mention in prime minister Narendra Modi's 'Mann Ki Baat' address earlier today.
Sikari Tisso of Karbi Anglong district of Assam has been documenting the Karbi language for 20 years. Language is now disappearing from the mainstream, so he decided to protect his identity of theirs. Today his efforts have resulted in the documentation of information about the language," Modi mused, adding that there must be many others like Tisso.
Tisso has been carrying out documentation and research on Karbi language thereby developing the language through publishing books and articles, audio and video recordings with knowledgeable community members.
Apart from documentation, Sikari Tisso has published ‘Klimso’ Karbi rhymes for children, ‘Mir Nemphru Alek’- translation of poems of various poets of different countries, ‘Panchatantra’ – a collection of moral stories of various communities, ‘Sengme’ translation of various stories of different countries.
He is presently working on English–Assamese, Bilingual dictionary, a joint venture with Lynda ‘Lun Lamthe Alamtasam’ a book on Karbi poetic words and the chief editor on a multi-lingual dictionary comprising of eight tribes’ dialect.
In January, Tisso was awarded the Linguistic Society of America’s Excellence in Community Linguistics Award (2021), which recognises contributions of community members (typically outside the academic sphere of professional linguists) to language revitalization.
Its previous awardees include people who have worked for languages such as the Ersu Tibetan in China, Bardi in Northwestern Australia, and in 2020, Uipo, an endangered Southern Tangkhulic language, spoken in parts of Manipur.
The Karbis— called Mikirs in the Constitution Order, Government of India — are an important ethnic group in the hills of Assam, primarily inhabiting the districts of Karbi Anglong, as well as Lakhimpur, Kamrup, Cachar, Morigaon etc.
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