Paul Olaf Bodding


Paul Olaf Bodding

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Paul Olaf Bodding (* Gjøvik, Norway on 2nd November 1865, † Odense, Denmark on 25th September 1938) was a Norwegian missionary, linguist and folklorist. He served in India for 44 years (1889-1933), and operated mainly from the town Dumka in the Santhal Parganas-district. The reverend Bodding created the first alphabet and a grammar for the Santali-speaking native people in eastern India. In 1914 he also completed the translation of the Bible into Santali language.

Paul Olaf Bodding had studied theology at the university of Oslo. He was a celebrated scientist, and he is still well known among the santals living in the states of Jharkand, Bihar and Assam as well as in Bangladesh and the Scandinavian countries.

Bodding was the son of a bookseller, and he first met the founder of The Indian Home Mission to the Santals (later developed to the NELC), Lars Olsen Skrefsrud, in his fathers bookshop in Gjøvik. Skrefsrud was born just outside the neighbouring town Lillehammer, in Oppland, Norway.

Bodding was also involuntarily involved in a personal scandal, as his second wife, a Danish missionary-daughter, ran away with an Indian muslim (according to Olav Hodne - in his book "Oppreisning" (2006)).

At the front of Gjøvik church (in Norway) a monument is erected for Bodding.

The main picture shows Bodding in Benagaria, India.

Works

* Materials for a Santali Grammar I, Dumka 1922
* A Chapter of Santal Folklore, Oslo 1924
* Santal Folk Tales (3 volumes), 1925-29
* Studies in Santal Medicine and Connected Folklore (3 volumes), 1925-40
* A Santal Dictionary (5 volumes), 1933-36
* Santal Riddles and Witchcraft among the Santals, 1940

Cecil Henry Bompas published "Folklore of the Santal Parganas". London: D. Nutt, 1909, compiled from stories collected by P. O. Bodding.

Some sources

* [http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/b/bodding_p_o.shtml BODDING, Paul Olaf ] at www.bautz.de
* [http://www.lcms.org/ca/www/cyclopedia/02/display.asp?t1=b&word=BODDING.PAULOLAF The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod - Christian Cyclopedia ] at www.lcms.org
* Olav Hodne "Oppreisning", a biography on Bodding, published by Luther forlag, Oslo, November 2006 ("in Norwegian")
*.


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