Goalpariya

Goalpariya (Assamese: গোৱালপৰীয়া) is a dialect of the erstwhile Goalpara district of Assam in India. It is largely spoken in Dhubri, Goalpara, Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon districts which were created from erstwhile Goalpara district. The basic characteristic of the Goalpariya dialect is that it is a composite one into which words of different concerns and regions have been amalgamated.

The people who speak this dialect, call themselves "deshi", a dominant section, leaving out the Bodos, Ravas, Mechs, Chawtals and other communities of the region. They call their dialect as "deshi bhasa". A large section of these people are known as "Rajbongshi", which means men of royal descent who are "Koch" in origin. To trace the intermingling nature of this dialect, one can look its words. For example, the word "kechha", meaning story, could have been derived from the Urdu word "kissa" and transformed itself into the Goalpariya dialect. The Urdu influence may be traced to the Mughal general, Mir Jumla, who, during his invasion of Assam, had pitched his military camp at Panbari in Dhubri district, probably due to the Panbari Mosque which was used by muslim solders. Indeed, a section of the Mughals had settled in the district and the process of acculturation followed.

There are many other Arabic, Persian and Urdu words in use in the Goalpariya dialect such as "roshan", "haram", "nasta", "chacha", "chachi", "bhabi", "nana" and "nani". These are particularly used by the Muslim community. There are, of course, some variations in the dialect as one move from one place to another which is not surprising as when there is a physical separation in terms of distance. According to Birendra Nath Dutta, the outgoing president of the Asom Sahitya Sabha, the old district can roughly be divided into two zones, the eastern and the western, on the basis of variation in their dialects. The eastern zone is contiguous to the district of Kamrup and the western zone is closer to north Bengal. Thus, "moi ahilo" in Assamese becomes "moiahilung" in the eastern zone and "moiasilong" in the western zone. "Moiahilung" resembles the dialect of Kamrup district and differs a little from that of the west zone. As the eastern zone is close to Kamrup district, it could not keep itself aloof from the latter’s influence.

In this context, the following examples will serve to show that the dialect of these zones have many points in common with that of Kamrup.

Eastern Kamrup: 1. "Api gila gharor para olaw" 2. "Bhal amta kaikhal"
Western Kamrup: 1. "Api gila gharar para ola" 2. "Bhal atmu kai khalak".

The western zone on the other hand, being contiguous to North Bengal, could not remain unaffected from the Bengali influence. For example, Bengali words such as "matha" (head), "pakhi" (birds) and Assamese words such as "duar" (door), "chuli" (hair), "bihan" (morning), which were used in early Assamese, are used by the people of Goalpara. There are some peculiarities in the dialect of Goalpara. For example, "uyak aisa khaibe" (he has to come), "mok ei kamta" or "kajta kara khai" (I have to do this work). Again, sometimes “L” becomes “N” in western dialect, such as "lage" becomes "nage" and "lal" becomes "nal" (red), infusing another difference in the dialect. In the Goalpariya dialect, expressions such as "pet peta" (rotten), "tiktika" (deep) are very common. It is worth noting that the Maithili word "angcha" (garment), and Hindi words such as "kawari" (door) and "damad" (bridegroom) have directly entered into the Goalpariya dialect and are still found in the same form and carrying the same meaning.

References

* Barua, N (2005) " [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050122/asp/northeast/story_4282630.asp Legacy to cherish and preserve] ", The Telegraph, Kolkata, January 22.
* Baruah, S K (2002) Asom Abhidhan, BANALATA, Guwahati.


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