The Changing Trends of
Farid Ahmad Raza
Indigenous Khowar Names for Human Beings
Language researchers have discovered that with the passage of time small languages are dying out. It is feared that in near future many small languages will disappear from the world. One of globalization’s harmful affects is that it leads to culture and language demolition. The phenomenon is creating a linguistic-cum-cultural mess. It means this would subvert different varieties of thinking, concepts and ways of life. This would bear no good for the diverse world. During our project of publishing Khowar Calendar we came to know that Khow people have not only forgotten the names of months in Khowar, but they have also been using new names for places and for human beings. They have totally given up the indigenous names, which were common in the past, for many other things, including the abovementioned ones. We also came to know that the names of many places, some historic ones, have also undergone change due to religious influence and the influence of modernization, because the old names no longer fit the emerging new cultural scenario.
During data collection, it was also observed that, perhaps, the most important feature of Khowar language-the indigenous names for human beings- are totally given up by the society. I collected data from different Khowar speaking areas and villages where, since old times, people used to keep local and indigenous names for their children and other new born relatives. The study revealed that such lovely indigenous names are no longer in use in our society. The phenomenon of globalization; the influence of religion, cultures and languages, together, have replaced them with novel names with others. Now people are, mostly, keeping and using Arabic names, having religious significance. The local names which were kept and used with Arabic and Persian affixes like Muhammad, Ahmad, Bibi, Wali, Shah and Khan, with Khowar names like Khosh Bibi, Zanoyar Khan, Khosh Wali and Purdum Shah have totally disappeared among the young generation. These local names had characteristics and undertones of bravery, courage, beauty, delicacy, uniqueness, preciousness, dearness, rarity and so on.
Language is a living phenomenon, which evolves with time, adopting and accommodating changes occurring all around. Its modification process is so unnoticeably slow in start that it is only visible when it has matured. When such change or influence becomes visible, it means that it is at the last stage, and there would be no way to reverse or revert it. This is a natural phenomenon that when and where change occurs there are always reasons for such change. Such influencing factors can be education, media, economy, technological developments and human migration etc.
SOME TRADITIONAL KHOWAR NAMES
Names Attributed to Birds (Smartness, Wisdom, Independence)
|طیغون||Taighoon||Variety of Hawk|
|سیورج||sayurj||Variety of Hawk|
|باجگی||Bajgi||Variety of Hawk|
Names Attributed to Animals (Bravery, Fierceness)
Names Attributed to Precious Stones/ Metals (Preciousness, Rarity)
|مسار||Masar||A kind of Akik|
Names Attributed to Flowers (Beauty, Delicacy)
|نازک بدن||Nazuk Badan|
Names Attributed to Colours/Smells/Gifts (Uniqueness, Valuableness)
|خدائے دیرو||Khodai Diru|
Full Khowar Names (Attributed to Objects of Nature, Natural Phenomenon and Dearness etc)
|ژان روئے||Xan Roy|
|ژانہ ٹِپ||Xana Tip|
|ختانہ زار||Khatana Zar|
|خوش روئے||Khosh Roy|
|خدائے دیرو||Khodai Diru|
Farid Ahmad Raza, President Mother-tongue Institute for Education and research (MIER) is a linguist and researcher, working on language and culture promotion and documentation and multilingual education in District Chitral.
Editor in chief a journal Khowar Nama for Khowar language.