Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Clues to the Mising link

It’s not everyday that the emotions and drama that unfold along the banks of the Brahmaputra can be felt and simulated on the lapping waters of the Hooghly. But thanks to the efforts of the students of Jadavpur University and experts from the Sahitya Akademi, the song of a Mising ollung dunê (boatman) can now be enjoyed and distinguished from that of a bhatiali (boatman’s song in Bengal) in Calcutta.

The Centre for Translation of Indian Literatures, Jadavpur University, and Sahitya Akademi, Calcutta jointly organised a Mising-Bengali translation workshop in Calcutta recently to bring the two cultures in contact with each other.

The students had previously translated Jiban Narah compilation Listen My Flowerbud: Mishing (sic) Tribal Oral Poetry of Assam from English to Bengali. Listen My Flowerbud is actually the English version of Narah’s Assamese compilation Shuna Mor Phul Koli.

Aveek Majumder, co-ordinator of the course, pointed out that translation from one language to another always leaves a “cultural gap”. “What we did was a translation of a translation. We figured that there had to be a double gap,” he said. To overcome this, we invited experts from Sahitya Akademi to sit with us for a three-day Mising-Bengali Translation Workshop, he added.

Full report here Telegraph 

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