Kokborok Day in Tripura Date in the current year: January 19, 2024

Kokborok Day in Tripura Kokborok Day is an annual observance held in the Indian state of Tripura on January 19. It celebrates the Kokborok language spoken by the indigenous communities of the state and commemorates its recognition as an official language of Tripura in 1979.

India is a multilingual country where languages from several language families are spoken. Approximately 78% of Indians speak Indo-Aryan languages, and languages spoken by the rest of the population belong to the Dravidian, Austroasiatic, Sino-Tibetan, Kra-Dai, and other language families. Kokborok belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family; its “closest relatives” are the Bodo, Dimasa and Kachari languages spoken in Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Meghalaya.

The name of the Kokborok language means “the language of the Borok people”. The Borok people, also known as the Tripuri people, are the original inhabitants of the Twipra Kingdom that was located in Northeast India and part of Bangladesh. Following the British colonization of India, Twipra became a princely state of British India. In 1949, it joined the Union of India as the state of Tripura.

Although Kokborok is the mother tongue of the majority of the state’s population, Bengal used to be the sole official language of Tripura for three decades. The situation changed on January 19, 1949, when Kokborok was finally recognized as an official language alongside Bengal. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated in Tripura as Kokborok Day. It is celebrated with cultural programs and other activities organized by the state government.

Essentially, Kokborok isn’t a single language but rather an umbrella term for several languages and dialects, some of which are not even mutually intelligible (similarly, Chinese is a group of language varieties). Debbarma is a prestige dialect of Kokborok that is understood by everyone and is considered the standard for literature and teaching at all levels.

According to the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, Kokborok is a vulnerable language, meaning that most children speak it, but its use is restricted to certain domains. The number of speakers is estimated at 695,000, according to the 2001 census.

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Kokborok Day in Tripura, holidays in India, holidays in Tripura, regional holidays, cultural observances