Friday, March 12, 2010

Bhojpuri - Not merely a spoken language like creole

CREOLE WAS the spoken language of Black slaves. Even though the slaves may have had their own mother tongues, such as Swahili, Bantu and Malagasy, the fact that they spoke creole, whether it be based on Spanish, Portuguese, French or English, depending who the slave masters were, the slave masters referred to them as « Creoles », meaning those who speak creole. The creole spoken language is necessarily based on a European language of the slave masters, hence, French creole, English creole. Although one often speaks of patois créole, which it is, a patois may evolve from any language and does not necessarily have a slave connotation. A patois too is a spoken language of communication and, like creole, it can only be written phonetically. But usage wants it that a person who speaks patois is not identified as a ‘Patois’ like in the case of Creole. The slave masters invented the term « Creole », as in the person, in order to steal the African identities of slaves. Creole is a by-product of slavery. The Mauritian Constitution protects us against any form of slavery. Hence, it is out of question for ‘Creole’ to be recognized in our Constitution either as a language or as a person, although people are free to call themselves what they like.

On the other hand, Bhojpuri is neither a language born in slavery nor a patois. Bhojpuri is often referred to as a dialect of Hindi, which is a language of civilization for over a millennium. In the 1960’s, Bhojpuri was the mother tongue of around 60% of Mauritians while many Mauritians spoke patois, which is a mixture of languages spoken differently in different regions of the country. The damage came with the political invention of French-based militant creole imported from the then French colonies and with an equally invented way of writing (which is still being invented) which infringes the pronunciation, spelling, grammar and rules of the mother language and imposed on the people through a complicit media. To make it more acceptable, the protagonists of this form of creole, which they wrongly spell ‘Kreol’, have been trying to compare Bhojpuri with creole, and several Mauritians of Bhojpuri origin seem to fall into this trap and used by Créolistes to foster their political ambition.

Full report here Defi Media

No comments:

Post a Comment