Dhoddaru Shloka – Badaga Proverbs

One of the fascinating and interesting aspects of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “DHODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasise a point. Prof. Paul Hockings, probably the most authentic researcher on and of Badaga lists nearly two thousands Badaga proverbs, 1730 to be precise. He feels that 1730 could be a complete figure containing all the proverbs there are. See his book,’Counsel from the Ancients: Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses’. He has given the meaning in English as well as making it easy to understand, in a beautiful manner.

Though I find his collection extremely interesting and educative, I do not agree with some of the conclusions he draws on certain proverbs. For example, on the proverb, ‘Odhidhama Niddhana, Oddidhama Erandina’ Prof.Hockings interpretation is quite different to what I feel is the correct meaning. I think ‘a person who spends time learning and ponders (over a problem) is better than the one who runs away (in a hurry) and thus trips over. [Odhidhama – one who has learnt (spent time learning), Niddhana – stops to ponder over[think], Oddidhama – one who runs, Erandina – trips over]. We can hear mothers telling their young children ‘Oda beda , Erandire’ – Donot run, you will trip over (a stone or any obstruction). That is ‘ do not be in a hurry and take a hasty decision’.

Another one is ‘Michidhavaga Morande Kolu Bangara’. In my opinion . the lady who does not listen to any one (Michidha Hemmathi) is bound to land up as a widow (when ‘Morande Kolu – a small stick of morende tree – replaces her jewellery (bangara) during the Ole Kattuva ritual of husband’s death / funeral ceremony). Prof.Hockings feels Mechidhavaga (see the difference between michidhava – one who does not listen- and mechidhava – one who is appreciated by all – even a morende kolu is enough as jewellery. Is it a case of wordplay (pun) by our ancestors??

I have listed a few of the proverbs below and hope to add more in future.

[Sources : Interaction with Fellow Badagas, ‘Naakku Betta’ monthly (1979) –Edited by K H Madha Gowder, Achanakal, Ketti Post , ‘Naakku Seeme’ monthly – May 2006, Edited by K.M Nanjan, Kil Cowhatty Village, Muthorai Post,

Counsel from the Ancients: A Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses By Paul Hockings]

Continue reading

About these ads

Echo of First World War in the Nilgiris

Dharmalingam Vengopal [Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri]

dv2dv 1

As the centenary of the First World War is being solemnly observed world over, the beautiful BEM Neethi church on the slopes of splendid Kalhutti valley in the Nilgiris also silently observes its centenary as a victim of the global war.

The Basel Evangelical Mission (BEM) was established in Basel in Switzerland in 1815 by German and Swiss missionaries who worked in Africa, China, South East Asia and south India. Their work began in 1834 in the Malabar area and spread to Karnataka and south Maharashtra.

Basel Mission came to the Nilgiris in 1845 at the invitation of retired judge G.J.Casamajor who donated his entire property at Ketti to the mission. The first missionary to arrive was Michael Buhler, a gifted linguist, who was the first to document Badaga folklore including the Badaga forefather sayings and ballads. He was the first to put, ‘Badaga language and culture on the scholarly map’. Buhler died young at the age of 37. Several  Badagas attended his burial at St. Stephen’s church at Ooty where Judge Casamajor was  also buried.

‘Thanks to the missionaries, many Badaga villages have had primary schools for longer than thousands of comparable small communities in Canada, the United States, South Africa or Australia’ says Prof.Paul Hockings, an authority on Nilgiri studies.

Exactly one hundred years after the mission was founded its missionaries were unceremoniously sent out of India and their properties confiscated as ‘enemy property’ after the outbreak of First World War in 1914.

dv3

The BEM Neethi Church stands a mute witness to the global war which had its echo as far as the peaceful Nilgiris.

Baduga or Badaga ?

Baduga or Badaga …well both are the same!

For a quick update and ‘faster glance’ visit www.baduga.co

badugaDOTco~~~~~~~~

You can easily access the website that is

‘ALL ABOUT THE BADAGAS OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS’

in your smart phone and read/see the posts/pix !

In excerpts that can be expanded !!

Take a look !!!

This website www.badaga.co is made ‘mobile friendly’ !

Talented Young Badagas

There are a lot of young Badagas who are highly intelligent and hugely talented and have made a mark for themselves in their chosen fields. NRNiranjan Ramamurthy is one such young Badaga. He is a AdWords Certified Google Partner and can give a boost to your business wherever it is located worldwide. He is presently at Kotagiri, The Nilgiris. Being a PROUD BADAGA, he informs me that he can make ‘special offers’ to Badagas and regular visitors to our Badaga websites here or here He is looking to become a Google AdWords Premier SME Partner with a growing base of small, medium and large sized businesses globally. Currently the one-man agency, Adostrophe.com manages multiple clients who advertise their websites through Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook and other platforms. While SEO article writing is another service offered, the core speciality lies in managing Google AdWords accounts.

AdostropheVisit his website adostrophe.com for more details. email : – Niranjan@Adostrophe.com

If you are a ‘talented young Badaga’ please send details for publication in our websites – Wg Cdr JP

Join In the Nation Building

One of Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives ‘MyGov’ is to make the citizens to be a ‘part’ of Nation Building’.

Let us Join In to make this country the best

MyGov –  ‘The citizen-centric platform empowers people to connect with the Government & contribute towards good governance’.

Click here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Need for All Nilgiri Badagas Union (ANBU)

Dharmalingam Venugopal

[Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri]

The Nilgiri district administration’s open mind to consider the positive winds of change among the feuding factions of the Badaga community is praise worthy. However, a lasting solution to the recurring problem and a competent body to take over the YBA Building should take into to account representations from across the Badaga community.

Badagas have always been socially conscious and have been forming various associations and advocacy groups to spread social, cultural, economic and ecological awareness among the community. A federation of all such groups will be the best representative body of the Badagas to manage common community assets like the YBA building and to make representation to  district, state and central administrations on the problems and welfare of the Badaga community.

All registered social, cultural and economic welfare associations including bajan and music groups and modern groups based on websites and social media as well  as documentation centres can form an umbrella organization which may be called All Nilgiris Badagas Union (ANBU ) or GAVA, the equivalent of the word  love in Badaga.

Only such a federation would reflect the glorious traditions of the Badagas together with the high achievements and aspirations of the community spread world over. Such a body will be capable of bringing all the two lakh odd Badagas under its active fold, mobilize enough funds and undertake necessary welfare and developmental activities.

The management can be of two tiers. The traditional leaders or the Parpathis and can be the patrons of the Union whose functioning can be managed by an Executive council  with due representations to the four Nadus and the various eligible associations.  A management consultant can be engaged to frame the criteria of eligibility, functions, laws and bylaws. The Union should be the sole voice to represent the Badaga view to the administration and  mediate in  local issues and disputes.

One third of the Executive Members should be necessarily women.

The YBA building can be managed professionally by a paid Manager and a Accountant, preferably non-Badagas,  to the satisfaction of all groups.

A library and a cultural gallery depicting the history and culture of the Badaga community should be the top priority of the new management.

 

Mahendra commented on Need for All Nilgiri Badagas Union (ANBU)

Sir, there is no doubt, our community needs a bonding body which can interact with every village. I hope all the seniors and experience elders like you can take up this task by approaching every village. As you have mentioned that Badagas have always been socially conscious and if every house becomes a member for the association then the bargaining power may increase. Badaga words for abbreviation only may give emotional touch for naming the association. beyond this with my limited knowledge, to get social identity, I humbly wish to suggest a celebration every year on a great personality who worked for the up lift meant of our community. District administration may be approached for the celebration and have a statue of such a personality at Coonoor or Ooty. Through my grand father I came to know about one of the great personalities Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, the great man who lit the light of education to our community. Like him other great personalities might be there in our community and those personalities can be remembered. Finally we must respect our community ladies for their hard work which helped our community’s development along with education.

____________________

Bellie N commented on Need for All Nilgiri Badagas Union (ANBU)

Dear Mr Venugopal, Your article seem very good and productive. If it is implemented our community will be united in alll aspects, and will get good knowledge about our culture and all. But unfortunately there was a Federation of all of our community Associations. The first hurdle started at that stage only. The ego and power fight between the Federation and YBA started and some unnecessary difficulties started there. At one stage all the leaders of Federation and YBA decided to stop the functioning of Federation. OK past is past.

I humbly suggest all our leaders to prefer YBA as our Apex Body for all the Badaga Organizations throught the Nation and Abroad. Any Association started at any place in India and abroad should be affiliated with YBA, and its name should be the same YBA followed by their respective area, like YBA, Coimbatore, YBA, Chennai and so on. As YBA is situated in our Native Nilgiris head Quarters, and all the Naakku Betta people are the members of YBA,, it is obviously the sole Association for our whole community. Of course all the other Associations, out of Nilgiris should be given representation in the Governing committee, and office. i hope it will be a welcome suggestion, I hope.

I welcome other opinion, to get a wide discussion in this matter.

The positive initiative of Prongadu Seemay to solve the YBA problem

The Porangadu Seemay leaders, lead by Seemay Gowda, Bheema Gowder have taken the initiative to end the unwanted and unnecessary embroglio and to solve the problem of running of Young Badaga Association [YBA] at Ooty.

They have correctly pointed out to the fact that YBA belongs to the whole community of Badagas. A few individuals cannot hold the entire community to ransom for their selfish motives and personal gains by forcibly occupying the premises under one pretext or another.

They have called for a Nakkubetta Kootu, at the traditional meeting place at Nattakallu, near Kerban, Kotagiri to sort out the issues on 16-8-2014.

Our best wishes  and hope the YBA will once again regain its past glory.

Gayatri Mantra and Hethey Prayer

Gayatri Mantra, the most important prayer, inspires wisdom and is also a prayer to the “giver of light and life” – the sun (savitur), ‘Hothu’ in Badaga.
If you analyse the prayer to  Goddess Hethey [by listening to many Hethey songs], you will find striking similarities with Gayatri Mantra!
|:*:|:*:|:*:|:*:|:*:|

Gayatri Mantra

OM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA,
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM |

BHARGO DEVASAYA DHEEMAHI,

DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT ||

ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेन्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।

ஓம் பூர் புவ ஸவ |
தத் ஸவிதூர் வரேண்யம் |
பர்கோ தேவச்ய தீமஹி |
தியோ யோன பிரசோதயத் ||
[Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, Oh! Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction]
To listen to Gayatri Mantra go here
Most of the information has been taken from the net and may Goddess Gayatri bless all those authors who have put so much info on the net so that they are freely available to any one.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recalling gold burst on the Nilgiri hills

Dharmalingam Venugopal

[Nilgiri Documentation Centre,Kotagiri]

Hindustan Photo Films was not the first industrial misadventure on the Nilgiri hills. 140 years ago the South India Alpha Gold Mining Company, ‘the biggest venture to date’ was set up for gold prospecting in Gudalur by two Australian coffee planters who had been gold miners earlier.

The New Zealand Herald of 31 March 1875 was agog with excitement. It talked of famous geologists of the day Messer Foote and King having made the project study, the Governor of Madras Lord Hobart himself having inspected the area and ‘experienced diggers’ involved in the project.

As for the quantity of the gold it was said that the, ‘auriferous quartz veins are as rich as are any which have been discovered in California’. The only danger was the , ‘fearfully malarious nature of the climate’.

The East India Company also notified that, ‘should any gold be found, a portion of it would be considered belonging to the government’.
‘Ootacamund, the delightful hitherto recherché sanitarium on the Neilgherries is to be the new busy and bustling Ballarat (a gold mining town in Australia)’ concluded the report and predicted an exodus from ‘Melbourne to Madras’.

However the folly of the whole sordid episode was exposed soon after. As Shyam Rungta says in ‘The Rise of Business Corporations in India 1851-1900’ the whole venture was, ‘founded on incompetence and ended in misfortune’. The average cost of an ounce of gold produced was three times the market price.

The failure of Alpha only added to the speculation. When the gold rush peaked in 1879-81 as many as 41 companies were set up with a capital of over 5 million Pound Sterling in London, Bombay and Madras.
The shares of these companies commanded 50 to 100 percent premium even before any work was started merely on the basis of the cables sent by the ‘mining experts’ one of whom turned out to be a retired circus clown.

From little more than clusters of native huts, ‘gold towns’ of Devala and Pandalur blossomed suddenly into busy mining centres substantial buildings, bungalows, hotels, a store for ‘valuable quartz which was to be extracted’, a saloon and even race course laid out on paddy fields.

When the gold ‘boom’ burst without producing any gold several companies and banks collapsed in London and India. The only people who benefited were the ,’professional promoters, vendors of land, engineers and government of Madras and Mysore and their officers’.
The gold burst left Devala and Pandalur ghost towns, a place which a Times of India reporter had described before the gold rush thus, ‘Nature was undoubtedly in a poetic mood when she conceived and evolved the country, wild and lovely in extreme at one moment suggesting by the impressive grandeur of its mountain masses reminiscences of the Austrian Tyrol, at another recalling the sweet scenary of our own beautiful Wales by the delicate sylvan richness of its wooded valleys’

SONG OF THE HILL-PEOPLE

SONG OF THE HILL-PEOPLE

for-header.jpg

by Indu.K.Mallah
~~~~~
What myth informs you
That your god is greater than ours?
Which fairy tale tells you
That your god is the only one?
Which god gave you the right to brain-wash our vulnerable, guileless people
With a brush dipped in guilt?
And who gave you the right to maul our culture?
You justify your self and say
That religion is different from culture,
But one is the warp, and the other, the weft of the fabric of our credo,
Which has the texture of the trees,
The flow of the mountain – stream
The scent of the earth,
The melody of bird-song,
And is in tune with the music of the cosmos.It is the age-old story of exploitation,
And it will take ages for us to recover from the wounds
You have inflicted on our souls
In the name of saving them.
But you have reckoned without
Our God of Satyam
We will wait——
Tomorrow is time enough for your expiation .
((((((((((((((((((((((O)))))))))))))))))))))))

[In the 'Song Of The Hill People', Smt.Indu K Mallah has beautifully brought out the mindless and meaningless (religious) conversion of hill people especially, Badagas. What used to be an unforgivable act a couple of decades ago, has become a routine affair now. 

I am yet to meet a 'converted' Badaga who could give me atleast one convincing reason for the change. I know of many Badagas who say 'I am a proud HINDU and have no problems in praying/ keeping pictures of other religious deities also in my puja room'. Hats off to these who are true Badagas!!

 Badagas have been a very closely knit community. Let not "religion" divide them - Wg Cdr JP]
Smt.Indu.K.Mallah writes : Thank you for re-printing my poem.  My collection of poems, which is under consideration for publication, has a separate  section on Indigenous Idioms -

Thank you very much

It was indeed a very pleasant surprise that on 24th, July 2014, this website had 552 hits. On a single day.

Best ever in the existence of

www.badaga.co – ‘Badagas of the Blue Mountains’

Statsstats2

I am deeply humbled and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Proud to be an Indian : Proud to be a Badaga.

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash [ bjaypee@gmail.com]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Badaga Dress

Here is an interesting article about how the vesti -dhoti- mundu has been the traditional dress of Badagas. Obviously, the recent incident of a High Court Judge not being allowed entry to the Cricket Club at Chennai because he was wearing a Vesti/Dhoti, has triggered the author to write this article.

24408 007Badagas with family (1914)

Mitchi Hethay

Mitchi Hethay

150507-011.jpgIncidentally, in the olden days, the ONLY dress for Badagas, both men and women, has been the ‘MUNDU’ – a longish handwoven white sheet, a wrap around. While a smaller piece of white cloth, the size of a towel, called ‘PATTU’ is used by the women to cover the head, the men used a thinner version – ‘Mallu’ as their turban – mallu ‘MANDARAY’. Both genders use another longer piece, usually same as the MUNDU, to cover the upper body. – Wg Cdr JP

 

Dhoti and the Badagas

By Venugopal Dharmalingam
There may be more to the humble dhoti than what the ‘English’ Clubs may think. Dhoties have been the traditional dress of not only the hot tropical plains of Tamil Nadu but also that of its cold hills like the Nilgiris.

2 Badaga men 1865

The basic dress of the Badaga men and women, the most numerous social group on the hills, have been the ubiquitous ‘mundu’, as the dhoti is called here. While men use a doubled over single mundu, women use two pieces of the same supplemented by a head cloth. ‘Each person was thus wrapped in a total of 8 to 10 m of cloth’ says Prof. Paul Hockings, the authority on Badaga social history.
He adds, ‘Cloth among the Nilgiri people is one of the commonest items of ceremonial exchange. It is the one most visible aspect of every person when it is worn; it is clearly differentiable according to degree of newness and cleanliness, especially as the favoured colour of Badaga dress is white’.Badaga man 1920
He further says, ‘Apparel is much more than a cover for the Badaga body; it functions as a symbol of complex and enduring relationships which hold the society together’.
Badagas wove their own cloth in the 19th century before buying them from itinerant Chetti traders since the 20th century. It was made from the fibres of two Nilgiri bushes, hoary basil and harmless nettle. It was said that people of Nanjanad used to specialize in making the cloth. The art of starching clothes to make them stiffer and resistant to rain was also long known to the Badagas.
Even after coming of the British and having close association with them, the Badagas adopted many of their dress but retained the mundu.
In recent times the passion for the white mundu by both men and women has reached new heights. The mundu is given a singular honour on occasions of festivals, funerals and social events. Even the Badaga youth increasingly seem to prefer the mundu to jeans.

The sea of white on the green background of tea plantations on major Badaga festive occasions has become a great cultural sight.

Rare Photos

 

Do not lose a piece of paradise called the Nilgiris / Nakku Betta

cropped-landscape-b.jpg

Yes, it is highly tempting to sell our land [mostly planted with tea] due to the unbelievable prices offered by outsiders, the so called ‘Bombay Buyers’ as claimed by the brokers -many of whom are, believe it or not, Badagas.

But have you given a thought why ‘they’ are buying land in the Nilgiris, Nakku Betta?

The beauty, clean air and the feeling of living with the Nature – in short our land as handed down to us by our ancestors is nothing but a piece of paradise on earth.

Even if we have to sell our property, please make sure that you retain atleast a small portion to build a house and enough land for a ‘hola – vegetable garden’.

Remember, if you sell your land today, it is going to be impossible to buy any land in the Nilgiris in future for the prices are going to be very high.

mtp-view2-copy.jpg

[photos by Wg Cdr JP]

The one stop website of/for Badagas

Landscape bbadaga.co

and

baduga.co

will to take you to our website

BADAGAS OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

the one stop destination to know everything about BADAGA

Badaga Proverbs – Doddaru SHLOKA

Badaga Proverbs – Doddaru SHLOKA

One of the fascinating and interesting aspects of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “ DODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasis a point.

Prof. Paul Hockings, probably the most authentic researcher on and of Badaga lists more than a thousand Badaga proverbs, 1730 to be precise. May be he had extensively borrowed these from the unpublished manuscript of M.K.Bellie Gowder. He feels that 1730 could be a complete figure containing all the proverbs . See his book,’Counsel from the Ancients: Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses’. He has given the meaning in English as well thus making it easy to understand in a beautiful manner.

Though I find his collection extremely interesting and educative, I do not agree with some of the conclusions he draws on certain proverbs. For example, on the proverb, ‘Odhidhama Niddhana, Oddidhama Erandina’ .

Prof.Hockings interpretation is quite different to what I feel is the correct meaning. I think ‘a person who spends time learning and pondering (over a problem) is better than the one who runs away (in a hurry) and thus trips over. [Odhidhama – learned one , Niddhana – stops to ponder over[think] a problem, Oddidhama – one who runs away or is in a hurry, Erandina – trips over.

It is common practice for Badaga mothers to tell their young children ‘Oda beda , Erandiray’ – Donot run, you will trip over (a stone or any obstruction). That is ‘ do not be in a hurry and take a hasty decision’.

Another one is ‘Michidhavaga Morande Kolu Bangara’. The lady who does not listen to her husband /any one (Michidha Hemmathi) is bound to land up as a widow (when ‘Morande Kolu – a small stick of morende tree – replaces her jewellery [bangara] – nose ring and ear rings during the Ole Kattuva ritual of husband’s death / funeral ceremony). Prof.Hockings feels Mechidhavaga (see the difference between michidhava – one who does not listen- and mechidhava – one who is appreciated by all – even a morende kolu is enough as jewellery.

Actual proverb could have been, ‘Michi dhavaga Moranday kolu Bangara, Mechi dhavaga Morenday Kolu Singara’

Is it a case of beautiful wordplay (pun) by our ancestors??

I have listed a few of the proverbs here, or….….read more here

Rare Photos

'''Topographic map of Nilgiri Hills showing so...

Image via Wikipedia

On the unique BADAGA community of the Nilgiris in Southern India…their origin, language, culture and customs !!

Website of Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash that is regularly updated and more info added

The following photos are from Thurston’s Book “Castes and Tribes of South India” published in 1909 by Government of India Press, Madras

Badaga Temple

Badaga Temple – This must be one of the oldest Badaga temples as the photo was published in 1909. The deity of this temple? Also, notice the elephant, horse and the snake on the outer wall. Any guess as to where this temple is located??

Madivale

Madivale

Badaga girls in 1909 or earlier

Badaga girls in 1909 or earlier. At first glance it appears as those these girls are wearing ‘pattu – head gear’.Take a closer look, their heads have been partially shaved. Did this signify any particular custom or period in the lives of these very young girls. No info available in Thurston’s book

Fire Making by Badagas -1909

See more here

Badaga Funeral Rites

Many a time, when we realize that some of our elders and educated have felt the need to put our old customs, traditions, rites etc on record – be it a manuscript or a printed booklet, it becomes a source of reference for many generations that follow.

I had the good fortune of reproducing the ‘Hethe Amma History’ by Naduhatti Bogga Mada Gowder published in 1925 [see the page on HETHE] and now the ‘ SAAVU HARAKKE -Funeral Prayer’ originally complied and published by Ketti -Achenekal M.Kala Gowder on 25-9-1944 and reproduced by M.K.Nanja Gowder [ see below the 8th edition]. He had been gracious to acknowledge the support extended by Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder’s family in his effort.

It is important to mention that Ketti Achenekal Mr.M.K.Nanja Gowder’s manuscipts have been extensively quoted by many researchers including Prof.Paul Hockings.

Karu Arachodhu 1
Karu Harachodhu 2
Karu Harachodhu 3 Karu Harachodhu 4

For more on BADAGA FUNERAL RITES go here or here

Proud to say we got 300,000 hits !

WP Hits

Extremely grateful to one and all for ‘HITTING’ us 300,000 times.

This landmark was reached on – 6th January, 2014 !!

Thanks again for the new year gift !!!

Uri Hogi, Siri Barali

Oh Man…

Here’s a question that was posed to the Dalai Lama: “What thing about humanity surprises you the most?”

His answer is : “MAN – Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present,

And as a result he doesn’t live in the present or the future. And he lives as if he’s never going to die and then he dies having never really lived”.

Is it NOT true with every Badaga-  male or female?

Badaga Proverb – Dhoddaru SHLOKA

DHoddaru SHLOKA

One of the fascinating and interesting aspect of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “DHODDARU SHLOKA”. Also we can call it – “DHODDAVAKKA HEGIDHADHU [What the Elders said] or “MUTHAPPANA MAATHU [Ancestors Words].When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasis a point.

Prof. Paul Hockings, probably the most authentic researcher on and of Badaga lists more than a thousand Badaga proverbs, 1730 to be precise. He feels that 1730 could be a complete figure containing all the proverbs there are. See his book,’Counsel from the Ancients: Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses’. He has given the meaning in English as well as making it easy to understand, in a beautiful manner.

Though I find his collection extremely interesting and educative, I do not agree with some of the conclusions he draws on certain proverbs. For example, on the proverb, ‘Odhidhama Niddhana, Oddidhama Erandina’ Prof.Hockings interpretation is quite different to what I feel is the correct meaning. I think ‘a person who spends time learning and ponders (over a problem) is better than the one who runs away (in a hurry) and thus trips over. [Odhidhama – one who has learnt (spent time learning), Niddhana – stops to ponder over[think], Oddidhama – one who runs, Erandina – trips over]. We can hear mothers telling their young children ‘Oda beda , Erandire’ – Donot run, you will trip over (a stone or any obstruction). That is ‘ do not be in a hurry and take a hasty decision’.


Another one is ‘Michidhavaga Morande Kolu Bangara’. In my opinion . the lady who does not listen to any one (Michidha Hemmathi) is bound to land up as a widow (when ‘Morande Kolu – a small stick of morende tree – replaces her jewellery (bangara) during the Ole Kattuva ritual of husband’s death / funeral ceremony). Prof.Hockings feels Mechidhavaga (see the difference between michidhava – one who does not listen- and mechidhava – one who is appreciated by all – even a morende kolu is enough as jewellery. Is it a case of wordplay (pun) by our ancestors??

Visit the website Badaga Proverbs for more interesting information

Badaga In English Script – Qwerty key pad

Badaga In English Script – Qwerty key pad

It is fantastic that a lot of efforts are being made to develop a Badaga script by Kadasoley Yogesh, Anandha Raju, Saravana Kumar Raju and others. Each has a different script to offer.

Meanwhile, I feel, it may be possible to use English alphabet and special characters that are available in a standard ‘QWERTY key pad’ to ‘write Badagu’.

The special characters are used since we do not have equivalent English letters for some letters like La – ள, Na – ண ,  etc.

Special character like [colon] : is used to avoid writing ‘a’ twice in many words like ‘baalu – tail’.

See the examples below :-

a:du – ஆடு, Dance, sheep/Goat
[a:tta a:duva b:a - ஆட்ட ஆடுவ பா  - come, let us dance],

[kappu a:du dh:aradhu? -கப்பு ஆடு தாரது  whose black sheep is that?]

idhu adhu – இது அது – this and that

k:angi – காங்கி [Female] Name
[K:angi yu Gangi yu hola gelachcha ga hogi d:arey - காங்கி யு கங்கி யு ஹோல  கெல்ச்ச க ஹோகி தாரெ - Kaangi and Gangi have gone to work in the field]

g:ai – காய் -Wind
[baniyanu ikku, g:ai beesira - பனியனு இக்கு காய் பீசிர - wear (woolen) sweater, it is windy]

bal’l’ey – பள்ளே – flat footed woman
[ah bal'l'eya kan'n'u holla - அ பள்ளே ய கண்ணு ஹொல்ல - That flat footed woman's eyes are full of evil]

k^oi – கோய் -chicken
[k^oi udhakka - கோய் உதக்க - chicken curry]

kodu –   கொடு -give
[S^omi, ee koosuga budhiya kodu - சோமி , ஈ கூசுக புத்தி ய கொடு - God, give this boy some wisdom]

k^odu – கோடு – line
[k^oda th:anda beda - கோட தாண்ட பேட - don't cross the line]

ban’n’a – பண்ண – colour
[ban'n'a battey baekku - பண்ண  பட்டே பேக்கு - need colourful cloth]

hen’n’u – ஹெண்ணு – girl
[ah hen'n'u s^okka idhdhavey - அ ஹெண்ணு சோக்க இத்தவெ - that girl looks beautiful]

kan’n’u – கண்ணு – eye
k:an’u – காணு see
[kan'n'a tharadhu k:an'u  endhu haegu - கண்ண தரது காணு எந்து ஹேகு - ask (him/her) to open the eyes and see]

hal’l’a – ஹள்ள – river
[hal'l'adha neeru kammi - ஹள்ள த நீரு கம்மி - less water in the river]

halla – ஹல்ல – man with big teeth
[hallajja na namba koodadhu - ஹல்லஜ்ஜன நம்ப கூடாது - don't believe that 'toothy' man]

a:lu – ஆலு – anger
[appa a:l endhundu edhdhaney - அப்ப ஆல் எந்துண்டு இத்தனெ - Father is very angry]

h:al’u – ஹாளு – cursed
[h:aluvadha h:alu k:arana innu k:an'ey - ஹாளுவாத ஹாலு காரன இன்னு காணே - that cursed milkman is not seen still]

bella – பெல்ல – jagiri [black sugar]
Bel’l’a – பெள்ள – male name
[Bel'l'a na m:aththu bella m:akkey - பெள்ளன மாத்து பெல்ல மாக்கே - Bella's words are sweet like black sugar]

Bel’l’ie – பெள்ளி – silver, Male name
[Bel'l'ie j^odi bel'l'i ungara ikki dhaney - பெள்ளி ஜோடி பெள்ளி உங்கர இக்கிதனெ - Bellie is wearing a pair of silver rings]

[Bel'l'anu Bel'l'ie yu appara nattu k:araru - பெள்ளனு பெள்ளியு  அப்பர நட்டு காரரு - Bella and Bellie are very friendly]

What are your views? Please send them as comments.

                 Script for Badaga      by   Dr.R.K.Haldorai

  “We can easily invent a completely new script for any language in a couple of days” (THE HINDU, May 25, 2013)

       Badaga language has to get a script. Few Badaga enthusiasts tried for that. Over the years few scripts were postulated. But one thing is sure that popularise any new script seems impossible in the present social scenario.

      A language can potentially be written in any script of the world with some minor changes. Badaga language is studied by well known scholars. These linguistic scholars employed other languages’ scripts, especially Tamil and Roman (English) for Badaga language. They followed the internationally adopted methods. When we follow these things we are spared from two great hurdles. Tamil and English letters are known to the present educated Badagas. So, comparatively it is very easy to popularise the required letters. Next it will be in consonance with the international studies. In this background Linguists always favour to adopt the vernacular known scripts for unlettered languages.

    It is to be remembered that the Kodagu language is written in Kannada script. In the same way another south Indian Dravidian language Tulu adopted Kannada script long ago. It is not new that more than one language adopted a common script. It is a worldwide scenario. In India Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathy, and Nepali are written in Deva Nagari script. Of late Kongany which elevated to the eight schedule of our constitution too, adopted Deva Nagari. An unlettered Naaga language of the north east state adopted Roman letters.

     To make Badaga a lettered language, Tamil and Roman scripts are at our hand.

Badaga Origin

This article is reproduced due to readers request

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Many mistakenly claim that Badaga Origin is nothing but Badaga migration from Mysore  [now in Karnataka state] during Tipu’s time only because of  the name Badaga (meaning northerner). It is very debatable. Unfortunately many Badagas have believed it in the absence of any convincing and conclusive evidence to the contrary. But the latest revelations and links about the language, especially from the epics and writings during the Tamil Sangam period tell a totally different story (see below).

Portrait of Tipu Sultan once owned by Richard ...

I am firmly of the view that our history is much older- may be a thousand years or more older – and my initial ‘research’ confirms that. There is a lot written about the migration from Mysore theory by many anthropologists, researchers and others. For obvious reasons, most of them are/were ‘outsiders’ – like the early European missionaries and British. The one person who has done a lot to highlight about Badagas, in 1960s, Prof.Paul Hockings has chosen to go along with his predecessors in concluding that since Badaga means north[ner], they have migrated from southern  Mysore  during Tipu Sultan’s rule over Mysore to avoid being forcibly converted to Islam. Also sited in support of migration is the resemblance/similarity of Badaga (language) to Haleya [old] Kannada.

But, B.Balasubramaniam, a highly educated Badaga, in his book“ Paamé ” – The history and culture of the Badagas of the Nilgiris, feels that Badagas migrated from Southern Karnataka [then Mysore State] about 700 years back, much before Tipu’s time, around 1311 AD during the plundering raid of Malik Kafir.

  I am, also, firmly of the view that it is possible that Badagas have lived in the Nilgiris for thousand of years like the Thodas [Thodhamaru ] or Kothas [Kotharu] and migration theory is an attempt by historians and anthropologists to explain away a ‘historical puzzle’.  The mystery of migration needs to be solved once and for all.

What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin. Read the complete article here

A letter from Prof.Paul Hockings

As I have mentioned elsewhere, Prof.Paul Hockings should be credited for doing a lot of research on Badagas [and Nilgiris]. He has published many books on both. Though priced on the higher side, his book ‘ A Badaga – English Dictionary’ written along with Raichoor is a must read for all Badagas.

badengdic.jpg

(See the page on Research for more)

So, it was a pleasant surprise to receive an email from him informing about his new books.

paul2.jpg
Dear Wing-Commander,
I have just finished writing a new book on the Badagas, “So Long a Saga“, which is a 400-page book on the social history of the Badagas from 1565 to 2012. ….[the book may take some time to be published and released- Wg Cdr JP]
I also attach a notice about my other recent book, “Encyclopaedia of the Nilgiri Hills“.
With best wishes,
Paul Hockings
PHnew

The NEGLECTED half

Pedhdhuva 012

The NEGLECTED half [part -1]

 

 

We may be proud of many of our Traditions – note the capital T – that we have followed for thousand of years. I repeat thousand of years though some so called foreign researchers along with many ‘yours truly types’ among us, would give only a few hundred years to Badaga history.

One such tradition, call it a custom if you want, that needs immediate attention is how we treat our WOMEN.

I am a staunch devotee of Hethe(y) Amma and very proud about the fact that Hethe(y) Habba is the ‘mother’ of all festivals for Badagas. But, let us face it. We call ourselves ‘Hethe(y) Makka’ – the children of Goddess Hethe(y).  And we very fiercely follow the strict customs associated with Hethe(y) Habba.

But alas, at the same time, our women are side lined and given only a secondary position in many of the rituals associated with this great and grand festival.

I have discussed about this aspect with many Badagas, including some from Beraganni and Pedhuva – “when we are so devotional to a deity that is personified in the purest female form called HETHE(Y), why are we NOT allowing our womenfolk who form half our population to participate in some of the rituals of Hethe(y) Habba?”

There are no clear answers. We cannot live in isolation.

Traditions need not be changed for the sake of change but surely, by involving the other half of our population in a much more ‘inclusive’ way instead of ‘rash restrictions’, will we not enhance our name and fame as a community that is forward looking?

If we do not change with times and be part of the larger society that encompasses the entire country, then, we will be condemned to face the serious and severe consequences.

May Hethe(y) bless us with the wisdom.

[To be continued ...in 'Part- 2' we will see the injustice done to our women]

Set your mood to these songs…

Set your mood to these songs…

Badagas have made singing and dancing an integral part of their lives.

A happy occasion like a habba [festival] or marriage….there you go….to the foot tapping ATTA – Dance songs like ‘Meley Keriyoge – On the top street‘….even a non dancer will get the inspiration to let the hair loose and join the crowd….
A sad situation….like the demise of a departed dear one…..the sad ‘saavu – death’ songs of Kerban Bella Gowder or Thangadu Krishna Gowder like ‘Ganjikke Kukkeya...’ will make tears roll down the cheeks as they remind you of some one who is no more…
The ever green…Hethe Songs…..
Melodies with a message like ‘Manesella Nondhara – ‘
Or, the melodious modern Badaga songs where the instrumental music has been given more importance…
Or, listen to the powerful ‘Badaga Funeral Prayer – Karu Harachodhu [Blessing the calf]…the famous group rendering of ‘AATHIKKODHU

Listen to some of these ‘best of the best songs and sounds’ chosen by me by clicking on the links or ON SOUNDCLOUD given below…
Must see the website on Badaga Songs

Image

Kootu [Meeting] at Hubbathalai

Kootu [Meeting] at Hubbathalai

Click on the pix to see Rare Photos of Badagas

Badaga – is a separate language by itself

Badaga – is a separate language by itself

I have been steadfastly claiming that Badaga is an unique language by itself and not a derivative of any other Dravidian Language – I WILL WRITE MORE ON THE FOLLOWING SOON – Wg Cdr JP

Badaga language not a dialect of Kannada, claims French linguistic scholar

Shanta Thiagarajan, [Times of India] Dec 4, 2012,

UDHAGAMANDALAM: “The Badaga language, widely believed to be a dialect of Kannada, was the language of communication of ancient South Dravidians and shares similarities with the local Alu Kurumba tongue,” said Christiane Pilot-Raichoor, a linguistic French scholar from LACITO, a scientific research centre in Paris. She was in town recently to do some research work.

“Today, it is recognized as a separate language,” said Pilot-Raichoor, who has been working on the linguistic heritage of the Badaga language for the past two decades. According to her, there are too many important differences in the phonology and the grammar, differences in gender system, case system, verb classes, to claim a genetic relationship between Kannada and Badaga languages.

“Once our minds are freed from the idea that Badaga is a dialect of Kannada, it may become possible to consider more objectively the Alu Kurumba-Badaga linguistic relationship,” she said. Alu Kurumba shares most of the characteristic Nilgiri features including verb peculiarities of Badaga language. “Whatever resemblance it has to Kannada points to early medieval and older forms of the language. The core grammar in the Badaga language converges with other Nilgiris languages which can be traced to early south Dravidian features,” she explained. Continue reading

Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder

To day, 4-12-2012, is the 120th birthday anniversary of one of the greatest sons of Badaga Community,

Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder.

For all that he has done for the community, let us remember him with respect and gratitude !

My sincere salutations to the great and reputed man of Badaga community.
 
“To be born as a gentleman is an accident..
To live as one is an achievement…”
 
He has lived and achieved. Every badaga should feel proud of him.
He will be living eternally in the hearts of  all of us.
 
Regards,
kethorai rajma

 

Badaga leader’s birth anniversary celebrated

The Hindu – Udhagamandalam, December 5, 2012

Badagas celebrated the 119th birth anniversary of H.B. Ari Gowder at the Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society (NCMS), off the Government Botanical Garden Road, here, on Tuesday.

Long considered as the uncrowned king of the Badagas, Mr. Gowder was born on December 4, 1893 and died on June 28, 1971. He hailed from Hubbathalai village near Aruvankadu

The head of the Thodhanadu Seemai Badaga Welfare Association T.M. Kulla Gowder recalled that Mr. Ari Gowder was a well known philanthropist, who was respected by not only the Badagas but also others. He was instrumental in the NCMS coming into being in the 1930s to protect farmers from middlemen and unscrupulous traders in the plains.

For over three decades he was its president and for long it was considered as one of the best of its kind.

By way of acknowledging his significant contribution his bust was unveiled on May 25, 1987, in the multi-purpose hall of the NCMS.

The ‘Warisu’ card …..

It is unfortunate but true. There are still a lot of ‘greedy’ Badagas who feel that ‘all  property’ should go ONLY to a son / sons and and not to the daughter/daughters. These people, many of them- ‘educated idiots’ of both genders, would justify their claim and contention by saying only a son CAN be warisu or heir. Needless to say, they are living in an ancient  world [when, in a  Badaga Family], girls were NOT treated as EQUALS  and like in any other Indian Community, they were sort of discriminated.

This flawed thinking is very much against the rule of the land. The Indian constitution and present rules and regulations ensure that GIRLS GET EQUAL SHARE of the properties of their parents and ancestors [as BOYS]. Any discrimination in this respect is a criminal offence punishable under law.

But still many ‘self appointed’ and hapless  Badaga kap leaders and Gowdas, live under a false notion that all property is for males only. This cancerous notion which is destroying the  harmonious Badaga family system needs to be cut and CUT NOW. Unfortunately, the people mainly responsible for this ‘cancer’, you guessed it, are females – wives,mothers and grand mothers with ulterior motives.

It is high time we start treating this cancer of Warisu with all the contempt it deserves and cut it off before it destroys the very fabric that is  uniting the community.

More, with many examples, will follow….

Pa – Ha [ப-ஹ] change in Badaga

Pa -> – Ha [ப - ஹ] change in Badaga

Exclusive from Dr.R.K.Haldorai

The initial ha- ஹ - sound of the Badaga words confused its speakers many a time. Of course, there is a phonological point to be noted.

The present Badaga has a tendency to drop the initial ha- ஹ  -sound altogether. Due to this, the words once pronounced with h – sound are without that now. Hence those words which had initial ha- sound are now vowel initial sounds. ha sound is totally foreign to Dravidian languages. Therefore its use is equivalent to dropping the initial consonants altogether (Father Henry Heras 1936).
Example

  • hallu – allu -ஹல்லு – அல்லு  tooth
    haalu – aalu – ஹாலு – ஆலு milk
    hiTTu – iTTu – ஹிட்டு இட்டு – food
    hiiru – iiru – ஹிரு இரு-  to split
    hullu – ullu – ஹல்லு உல்லு grass
    huuyi – uuyi – ஹுய் ஊய் – tamarind
  • heTTe – eTTe – ஹெட்டே எட்டே – hen
    heegu – eegu – ஹேகு ஏகு -to tell
  • hoge – oge – ஹொகே ஒகெ – smoke
  • Hogu – Ogu – ஹோகு ஓகு – to go

As a special feature among Dravidian Languages Kannada language attested p – > h- change; a change which occurred quite early (Kulli 1976:304). This change is found in Badaga language too. This aspect has been adduced as an argument for settling Badaga language’s relationship with Kannada and even for deeming it a dialect of Kannada.
Since pa -> ha – change is common to Kannada and Badaga, scholars tried to fix the date of separation of Badaga language. On the basis that Badaga diverged from Kannada only after the old Kannada initial pa – , changed to middle and modern Kannada initial h – (Emeneau 1965 :18,19). They ignored the fact that in spite of attested p -> h – change , Badaga still has many words in use with initial p – ,many in basic in nature.

( E.g. paTTu -பட்டு  towel , payilu -பயிலு sprout, paTTe – பட்டேbark, paame – பாமே  story, payere – பேரே buttermilk, paaTTa koDe – பாட்டே கொடே umbrella of palmyra leaves)
The Kannada Encyclopaedia (KE) analyses this Badaga feature in brief and points out that all initial p – words are not changed into initial h – words in Badaga. Many initial p – words are in daily use in Badaga.

In Kannada p – > h – change began after 10th century. Hence Badaga might have diverged from Kannada prior to 10th century A.D.

The Kannada Encyclopaedia [KE] therefore assigns Badaga the status of an autonomous language (Nayak 1983 :412). Differing from Emeneau and others KE holds that Badaga might have diverged from Kannada even earlier than 10th century.

Kannada dictionary (Butcher 1983) recorded many initial p – and h – words, including some which are mere variants of the same words. Among these, Badaga language retained initial p – instead of initial h -.

Example

Kannada> puccu – huccu [puchchu huchchu] – புச்சு ஹுச்சு  (foolishness) : Badaga. puccu [puchchu]
Ka. paLi, haLi – பளி ஹளி (blame,rebuke ) : Ba. paLi
Ka. pusi, husi புசி ஹுசி (falsehood,lie ) : Ba. poy, puyyi -பொய்
Ka. pooTe, hooTe போட்டே ஹோட்டே (hollow of a tree) : Ba. pooTe  போட்டே(hollow)
Ka. pisuku, hisuku பிசுக்கு ஹிசுக்கு (to squeeze ) :Ba. பிசுக்கு -pisuku

In some cases Badaga substitutes s – for the h – found in Kannada words.

E.g. Ka. heDe (the expanded hood of a snake ) : Ba. seDe
Ka. huLi (sour ) : Ba. suLLe
Ka. hiju (to rend ) : Ba. suli
Ka. hore (neighbourhood, vicinity ) : Ba. saare

In few words PDr.(Proto Dravidian) p – changes into b – in Badaga.

E.g. Ka. pakkaLe (a kind of vessel) : Ba. baggare
Ka. paNi (stick, bat) : Ba. baNe
Ta. pambaram (top) : Ba. bombare
Ta. pakkam (shelter) : Ba. bakka

In a few places the initial p – and h – forms of the same word are use in Badaga but with
different meaning.

E.g. pace (green) : hacce (half-boiled, unripe, tender etc.,)
piri (to separate ) : hiri (to demolish)
piccu (to scatter) : hiccu ( to squirt )
poru (to endure ) : hour (to bear, carry or the head)
poTTu (simpleton ) : hoTTu (chaff, husk)

p – > h – is a share innovation found in Kannada and Badaga languages but with the following special features in Badaga.
1. Many initial p – words are in use in Badaga language and they are basic in nature
2. Unlike Kannada, all initial p- words are not changed into initial h – words in Badaga.
3. In a few places s – replaces h – in Badaga.
4. In a few places p – and h – form the same words are in different meanings in Badaga.

It is not correct, therefore to hold p – > h – change as a major criterion in settling the relationship of the Badaga language with Kannada.

Sutta Gassu Sandage…Badaga Recipes…

Gourmets’ worry over vanishing traditional foods, tastes

Article by Arun P Mathew, Times Of India | Nov 3, 2012

COIMBATORE: Ever heard of Sutta Gassu Sandage? It is one of the vanishing food items of badaga community of the Nilgiris. Taking part in a national seminar on ‘Heritage Foods of India’ at AJK College of Arts and Science here, senior chef H N Vijivan of Taj Vivanta Hotel in Coimbatore said the delicious badaga food item is made out of potato. Potatoes with skin are cooked over live charcoal, cleaned and salt and spices applied on it to make sutta gassu sandage.

According to him, there are over 20 exceptional varieties of food items of badagas and they need to be introduced to the gourmets across the world. Mouth-watering delicacies include ganjikke (boiled wheat pearls in an earthenware pot mixed with jaggery and coconut), eragi hittu (finger-millet balls made out of raggi flour, hot water and salt), badagaru koi uthakka (badaga chicken curry) and belle boungue sandage (roasted garlic chutney). Read the complete article here

Seen below on the left is ‘Thuppadittu – Ennayhittu’ and on the right is Eragi Hittu with Avaray Udakka and soppu’

Have you visited the page on Badaga Recipes ?

Badaga Songs…some of my favourites..

In a mood to listen to some fab Badaga Songs ['My Choice'] as you browse the posts…click on the pix and choose the song in the new window that opens up…

Badaga Songs

RAJMA, the great ‘GURU’

I have never had the fortune of meeting her so far. Only, the media reports about her receiving an award from the President of India, made me proud being a native of the Nilgiris & a Badaga. And take notice.

If you sit back and think of ONE teacher of our school  whose teachings & advise has made us what we are today, we feel so happy and grateful to have studied under her/him. This ‘guru’s’ teachings touch our lives in many ways.

When I wrote about her in my websites, the response from her students and others was huge and I realised ‘HOW ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SO MANY LIVES’.

That great person is Mrs.Rajamma from Kethorai Village, Rajma Mam to her students.

Recently when I received the following  email from her, appreciating the work on these websites, I felt humbled. I can feel how powerful her words and teachings would have been.

I take the liberty of publishing her letter to put on record my deep gratitude and I am sure she will remain a powerful influence in many more lives.

Dear JP,
 
Greetings. Hope my mail finds you in good health and cheers. Nice to read a lot of issues about our community in your web site.
 

“A lot of things go unquestioned..
Several questions go unanswered…
Many words go unsaid..
A number of words go unheard..
Some dreams are buried alive…”
 
WE CALL IT LIFE.
 
WHAT LIFE HAS  IN STORE FOR US TOMORROW , NO ONE KNOWS.

In this mysterious life , a very few people like you leave an ever lasting mark for their life time. You are doing a wonderful job. Keep it up.
 
Take care. My best wishes for you will remain always.
 
With regards,
 Rajma

http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/00162/15dcmypr_woman_powe_162738e.jpg?%20w=100

[photo courtesy - The Hindu]

JP adds :

It is said that, “If you educate a boy, you educate an individual but if you educate a girl, you educate an entire family.

Indeed, GIRL POWER IS GREAT POWER

BADAGA WORDS AND WRITINGS

BADAGA WORDS AND WRITINGS

Exclusive article by Dr. R.K.Haldorai

Family of languages is known as cognate languages, which means languages descended from common ancestor (origin). Because of the family relation, most of the words are formed in similar construction in cognate languages. Similarity is seen in grammar too.

The renowned Dravidian Etymological Dictionary, compiled by T.Burrow and M.B.Emeneau (available in internet too) gives the similar (cognate) words of Dravidian languages in one group. If we go through that we can notice the similarities of words within the family of languages. On etymological basis it grouped Dravidian words into 4572 entries. In that dictionary, to our dismay only thirteen Badaga words are included. Some twenty years back, I brought this to the notice of one of the editors, M.B.Emeneau. It is apparent that Badaga words are available for most of these entries. It is our ardent duty to collect words for these entries and make available with them. By this way one can find out the common origin of Badaga words. So, linguistically it is correct to uphold the common origin. The innovations and borrowings are to be dealt separately. Innovations are special features and in Badaga’s case the distinct language status is marked with its many such things. Usually language borrows vocabularies, mostly nouns; grammatical borrowing is near nil; verbs are borrowed very rarely.

The influence of neighboring languages on Badaga is to be seen with this background. And it is not right to conclude that a word or feature belongs to a dominant language when it is common in minor and dominant languages.

Basically language is spoken. Written language is nothing but the reflection of speech. Out of seven thousand languages spoken throughout the world only few hundred have scripts. On other hand, we cannot say that all the speakers of a language know its letters, which has written character. Among Dravidian languages only four are having their own scripts and Tulu and Kodagu adopted Kannada scripts. Anyhow script was vogue in Dravidian languages in their proto stage. That letter is called braami or tamizhi, from which letters of Indian languages, including Tamil and Kannada are derived. When we say Badaga is descended from Proto – Dravidian or Proto – South Dravidian, it is obvious that once it had letters. But because of long isolation in the Nilgiri plateau that had forgotten. Anyhow the words like bare (to write, letter, written document), baregaara (writer),  bareyagaara  (writer of our fate, god) , haNayal bare, nettiya bare (fate, written on ones fore – head), baretoDe (literacy), oodu (read), kallu (to study), ooleyakaara (messenger who brings documents written on palmyra leaf),etc., imply that writing was known to Badagas. Above all Badaga word muniya signifies as noble teacher and this is attested in one of the Badaga ballads. So, it is understood that teaching activities were also there and the word kallusu (make one to study, teach) makes known it.

( I must put on record my deep appreciation and gratitude to Dr.Haldorai for sending articles for publication in our websites. He is one of the original NATIVE researchers of our language and culture. Dr.Haldorai is being very proficient in Tamil also, some times I find some bias in his articles in favour of Tamil when he discusses certain issues. The difference between the articles of Dr.Haldorai and other ‘outsiders’ like Prof.Paul Hockings or M.B.Emeneau is that there is a definite authority and acceptance in what Haldorai says because he is a Badaga and obviously knows what he says. – Wg Cdr JP)

What a shame ?!

Badaga is an unique language…which still retains its old world charm. Unfortunately, the absence of a script has resulted in abuse of the language, what with ‘some learned and self proclaimed researchers’ claiming it to be a derivative of Tamil and others of Kannada.

It does not stop here, some ‘highly qualified/educated’ non – Badaga persons go as far as writing articles and books on Badaga language without understanding the basics or the fundamentals of this beautiful language. While we appreciate the interest and initiative shown by non Badagas to learn and write about Badaga, we feel angry when they give totally wrong information. Worse still, they have the audacity to ‘invite readers’ to ‘learn Badaga’. Shocking to say the least.

I came across a book in Tamil [courtesy - Saranavaraj] called “Arivom Badagar Mozhi’ அறிவோம் படகர் மொழி [ பழங்குடியினம் ] by Era.Jayalakshmi – published by Vijaya Pathippagam, Coimbatore.
It appears that Jayalakshmi’s only ‘qualification’ to write about Badaga is that she ‘found out’ in ” Badaga people’s spoken language, the greatness of old Tamil”  [ தமிழ் 'படுக' மக்கள் பேச்சு வழக்கில் தமிழின்  தொன்மையை கண்டறிந்தார் ] when she was serving  in the Ooty Municipality.
She starts off on a wrong note. In her preface, she claims that all Dravidian Languages are derivatives of Ancient Tamil. “Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam are languages that came out of the ‘blood’ of Tamil – கன்னடமும் களித்தெலுங்கும் கவியின் மலையாளமும் உன் உதிரத்தே உதித்தெழுந்து ஒன்று பல ஆயிடினும்..” she quotes Caldwel.

She goes on to say that like many Dravidian Languages ” BADAHAA – படஹா ” is only a spoken language. Note’ she does not even know that Badaga and Badagu – படக &  படுகு are never referred to as Badahaa. In her preface BADAHAA – “படஹா” is mentioned atleast eight times with quotation marks.

Here are some bloomers – deliberate or otherwise :-

In the book, what is your name [உன் பெயர் என்ன?] is given as: -
1.Enna eraru ena  இன்ன எசரு என? –  what is your name – உன் பெயர் என்ன? (This is the very first sentence in the book).
[It should have been :- Ninna hesaru yena - நின்ன ஹெசரு ஏன?]
2.uralvai esaru ena உறல்வை எசரு என? – what is mother’s name – அம்மாவின் பெயர் என்ன?
[should have been - Awwaiya hesaru yena - அவ்வைய ஹெசரு ஏன?]
3.Enaga paadi ariye – எனக பாடி அறியே –  I donot know how to sing – எனக்கு பாட தெரியாது
[should have been - Na kadai hegi ariye - ந கதை ஹேகி அறியே]

There are too many mistakes, all most in every page, to elaborate . In one word this book is PATHETIC.

The author, it appears, has never heard of proof reading or the Badaga words in the book are either meaningless or distorted. The icing on the cake is that she dedicates her book to those ‘researchers of languages -மொழி ஆராய்ச்சி  அறிஞர்கள் ‘.

It is high time, R.Lakshmi withdraws this book, consults a Badaga and do a proper proof reading and then dare to publish.

What do you do, laugh or cry??

[My request to Badaga Association in Coimbatore is, please contact/ visit the publishers Vijaya Pathippagam,20, Raja Street, Coimbatore -641001 phoen # 0422-2382614 / 2385614 [email -vijayapathippagam2007gmail.com], since the author’s email or address/contact numbers are not given, and ask them to take corrective steps].

****************

Prabhakar [email ; writerprabhakar@gmail.com] comments :

While the article by the particular author/publication needs to be condemned, I do not quite agree with the contention that Badaga is not a derivative of Tamil or Kannada. Can the administrator of this website speak an entire sentence in Badagu without using a word of Kannada or Tamil??? It is high time that we realized that Badaga is indeed a derivative /mixture of Kannada and Tamil. Realization is enlightenment. Moroever there is no ‘shame’ involved in it. I am a proud Badaga who takes pride in his unique culture and tradition, but am equally aware that my language is a unique mix of two other languages. If someone were to deny it then it would mean that Badaga precedes these two languages. If it has indeed preceded these two languages than it would have definitely had a script. So let us stop romanticising the origins of our language and accept reality.

Hello Prabhakar,

I am surprised and saddened by your conviction and contentions. I am not sure whether you have read my articles/posts/pages on our language. Well, I am convinced that Badaga is a separate language by itself – without a script [like so many other spoken languages]. While there is no denying the fact that Badaga and old (haliya) Kannada resemble a lot and of late there is great Tamil influence. This is probably, due to the fact, we belong to Tamil Nadu and many of us have studied in Tamil medium schools. Why Badaga, without a script, could not have preceded Kannada or Tamil, is not the question, but could it not have co- existed with Sen Tamizh – old Tamil and Haliya Kannada??

I did my schooling in Rao Bahadur Board High School, Hubbathalai where the medium of instruction was Tamil. I love Tamil and can boast, at the cost of modesty, that I was ranked sixth in the entire Tamil Nadu, Manavar Mandram examinations of 1963-64. Hence can read and write Tamil very well. I can’t say the same about Kannada.If you read my articles on Badaga Language, there is a lot of ref to Badaga in the Tamil Epics.

Incidentally Mrs.R.Jaylakshmi says in her book that Badaga is a ‘child’ of Tamil and goes on to quote that ‘Odhu -study’ is the same as in Sen Tamizh – Odhamal orunaalum irrukka vendaam -ஓதாமல் ஒருநாளும் இறுக்க வேண்டாம்’

By the way, in Badaga we say ‘bil kul’ for ‘definitely’ like “bilkul beda – definitely don’t want“. Bilkul is a Sanskrit word. Can we say that Badaga is a derivative of Sanskrit? Ungara and Majjige mean finger ring and butter milk in Telugu and Badaga. Is Badaga a derivative of Telugu?

Why are we still have the mind set to blindly accept what others have mentioned about our language or for that matter, even about our origin that we migrated from Mysore.

I notice that you have mentioned that you are a National award winning Journalist. Like to read your articles and if possible, reproduce them in my websites.

- Wg Cdr JP

Sixty plus and Going Strong

(Translated from the original in Chinese)
 
There are 1000-year old trees in the mountain, but not many 100 year-old people…
At the most, you live until 100 years old (only 1 in 100,000).
If you live until 90, you only have 30 years.
If you live until 80, you only have 20 years.
Because you don’t have many years to live, and you can’t take along things when you go, you don’t have to be too thrifty.
Spend the money that should be spent, enjoy what should be enjoyed, donate what you are able to donate, but don’t leave all to your children or grandchildren, for you don’t want them to become parasites.
Don’t worry about what will happen after you are gone, because when you return to dust, you will feel nothing about praises or criticisms.
Don’t worry too much about your children for children will have their own destiny and find their own way. Don’t be your children’s slave.
Don’t expect too much from your children. Caring children, though caring, would be too busy with their jobs and commitments to render any help.
Uncaring children may fight over your assets even when you are still alive, and wish for your early demise so they can inherit your properties.
Your children take for granted that they are rightful heirs to your wealth; but you have no claims to their money.
60-year old like you, don’t trade in your health for wealth anymore; Because your money may not be able to buy your health.
When to stop making money, and how much is enough (hundred thousand, million, ten million)?
Out of thousand hectares of good farm land, you can only consume three quarts (of rice) daily; out of a thousand of mansions, you only need eight square meters of space to rest at night.
So as long as you have enough food and enough money to spend, that is good enough.
So you should live happily. Every family has its own problems.
Just do not compare with others for fame and social status and see whose children are doing better, etc. but challenge others for happiness, health and longevity…
Don’t worry about things that you can’t change because it does not help, and it may spoil your health.
You have to create your own well-being and find your own happiness; As long as you are in good mood, think about happy things, do happy things daily and have fun in doing, then you will pass your time happily every day.
One day passes, you will lose one day; One day passes with happiness, and then you gain one day.
In good spirit, sickness will cure; in happy spirit, sickness will cure fast; in good and happy spirit; sickness will never come.
With good mood, suitable amount of exercise, always in the sun, variety of foods, reasonable amount of vitamin and mineral intake, hopefully you will live another 20 or 30 years of healthy life.
Above all learn to cherish the GOODNESS around…and FRIENDS…all friends make you feel young and “wanted”…without them you are surely to feel lost!!!
(Please share this with all your friends who are 60 plus and those who will be 60 plus some time soon).

[recd as a fwd email]

Dementia


Exercise for the brain

Below is a very private way to gauge how your memory compares to the last test. Some may think it is too easy but the ones with memory problems may have difficulty. Take the test presented here to determine if you’re losing it or not. The spaces below are so you don’t see the answers until you’ve made your answer.

OK, relax, clear your mind, breathe in, breathe out… and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

 

 

 

 

 

Answer :You jumped to the answer thinking, easy, it is toast but the answer is Bread . If you said ‘toast’ ,give up now and do something else..

Try not to hurt yourself. If you said, bread, go to Question 2.

2. Say ‘silk’ five times. Now spell ‘silk..’ What do cows drink?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: Have you seen a cow drinking ? Cows drink water. If you said ‘milk,’ don’t attempt the next question. Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat.. Content yourself with reading a more appropriate literature such as Auto World. However, if you said ‘water’, proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said ‘green bricks,’ why are you still reading these??? If you said ‘glass,’ go on to Question 4.

4.It’s twenty years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany ). Anyway, during the flight, two engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine fails before he can do so and the plane fatally crashes smack in the middle of ‘no man’s land’ between East Germany ! ! And West Germany … Where would you bury the survivors? East Germany , West Germany , Or no man’s land’?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: You don’t bury ‘survivors’. If you said ANYTHING else, you’re a dunce and you must stop. If you said, ‘You don’t bury survivors’, proceed to the next question.

5. Without using a calculator, here’s the next question – You’re driving a bus from Sydney to Brisbane

In Sydney , 17 people get on the bus.
In Hornsby , 6 people get off the bus and 9 people get on.
In Kempsey , 2 people get off and 4 get on.
In Coffs Harbour , 11 people get off and 16 people get on.
In Byron Bay , 3 people get off and 5 people get on.
In Tweed Heads, 6 people get off and 3 get on.
You then arrive at Brisbane ..

Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: Don’t you remember who was driving the bus??!!

If you pass this along to your friends, pray they do better than you.

Magic square…??!!

You must have heard of the great mathematician Ramanujam’s Magic Square given below :

You add up any row, column, diagonal, or ‘four adjacent squares’, you will get 139.

The beauty is that the first row gives his Date Of Birth – 22 Dec 1887.

Well, inspired by this I made a magic square with my DOB 24 Apr 1948

Where the addition of the four numbers in each row, column, four corners, diagonal or small squares of adjacent numbers add upto 95.

If you look closely on the above two squares, you can realise that you can easily ‘crack this code’ and MAKE A MAGIC SQUARE with your DOB – where the four numbers will add upto a specific number.

Got it ? If you are too lazy to make your own magic square, send your DOB to me, I will make the magic square. You will find my email id elsewhere on this page.

Happy Birthday, mom!

We would come home at Hubbathalai and to your room [nadu roomu -centre room, as we call it]…

Your face would brighten up seeing me, “bandu buttaya- you have come” you would say with a smile, reclining from the bed.

Mrs.Idyamma Bellie Gowder

[2-9-1912---13-7-2011]

“Harachu- bless me” I would say, bowing my head. You would place both your hands on my head and bless me with those beautiful words ” ondu nooru saavira aagili, endhendhu somi ninaga olliya haracha kottu, sogava kottu barali – let one become a hundred thousands..may God give you good health and happiness…”

Then with a faint smile,  and holding your hands, I would tell you,”Happy Birthday, mom..endhu ninna huttidha barasha, ardhaya – do you know that today is your birthday ?”

You would act surprised, ” athaya… is it so?…aesu barasha aathu – how many years?… ennu aesu kaala ebbadhu- how many more years to stay?”

We, all your children, grand children and great grand children along with other relatives, would have celebrated your 100th Birthday in grand style.

Mom, you chose to leave us just a year short of a century.

Gone to ‘another’ world but never forgotten.

But wherever you are, we know, your blessings are with us always.

You were and are the inspiration for everything.

We miss you, mom !

Traditions kept alive by these brave Badaga ladies

What is extremely gratifying and gives a lot of happiness is see some brave – hearts Badaga ladies wearing traditional Badaga Jewellery. One such lady is Subbi Hethe of Thogalatty [near Kattabettu] with the mookkuthi and kivi chinna [read all about Badaga Jewellery here]. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Honneri a couple of days back..

Thank you, Subbi Hethe

Independence and Freedom!

Misc 025

Independence day

by Bellie Jayaprakash

August fifteenth.
Independence day.
Freedom from occupation of the land
by aliens. Celebrations.

But what about freedom
from exploitation of gender and hunger
from fights over caste and religion
from inequality based on creed and region
India, my great land of legends
when are you going to be really FREE?

#######################

Freedom Struggle in the Nilgiris

Dharmalingam Venugopal

Notwithstanding its remoteness and the influence of the British, the Nilgiris played its due role in the freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to the hills from Jan 31 to Feb 4, 1934 stoked the freedom call. Gandhians like Rev.C.F.Andrews and Marjorie Sykes further encouraged the movement among the locals. The house arrest of Sarat Chandra Bose, brother of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose in 1942 in Coonoor and his address in public meetings influenced many inhabitants of all classes.

Mrs.Anne Besant, George Arundale and B.P.Wadia were interred in Col.Olcott’s house in Ooty from June to September 1917 for their role in Indian Home Rule movement.

The freedom struggle not only touched the most numerous Badagas, it also equally influenced the small community of Todas on the hills, who composed  a remarkable  song to welcome Gandhi to the hills.

O wise man!
The like of you has been neither made nor born!
Who is was that acquired learning first? Mahatma.
Who it was that acquired wisdom first? Mahatma.
Who it was that behaved like a father to all? Mahatma.
Who it was that released all men from fetters? Mahatma.
Who it was that fought with the tiger? Mahatma.
Who  it was that did what he considered right? Mahatma.

Toda songs have both a lyrical component as well as a melodic component. The songs consists of several lines. The essential component of each line is a ‘konh’ which comes from the memory of the senior Todas describing various significant events on the hills.