As part of a new social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online throughout Asia, every week a different language activist and advocate will be taking turns managing the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of their native languages. This campaign is a collaboration between Rising Voices, the Digital Empowerment Foundation, and the O Foundation.
Each week, the upcoming host will answer several questions about their background and will give a brief overview of their language. This Q&A is with Abhinash Das (@abhinashd) who will provide a sneak preview of what he will be discussing during his week as host.
Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.
I am Abhinash Das from Karbi Anglong, Assam. I have recently completed my post-graduation and currently I am teaching. I love to volunteer for causes which empower people and make a positive impact on our society.
RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?
My native language is Assamese. Assamese is the official language of the state Assam, India. In Assam, there is an act which ensures the prevalence of the language widely in schools, office and public places. In every school, it's mandatory to teach the language so to get a clear understanding of the language.
RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account?
During the week I am planning to put emphasize on my native language, another language called Karbi and some other endangered languages of our state. Apart from this, I want to focus on the culture, rituals and ways to protect and sustain our cultural and linguistic identity.
RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?
I always wanted to promote and represent my own language online which is my real identity. Whenever I see something in my language is available online, it makes me really happy. During IYIL 2019 language challenge I wanted to learn Karbi and started searching online for study materials but sadly nothing much was available. So I always want to make sure that a language has enough resources online so that people could know about the language. There is a lack of available resources when it comes to learning Assamese or a dictionary or the grammar too. It would be amazing if we could work for that.