Gurung Khe Prih Script

Background History of Gurung National

Nepal is a multi‐national, multi religions and multi‐lingual country. Gurung is the one national of them who has its own identity. Gurung national is the Tibeto‐Burmese group.

According to the historical background they have been living since 35 hundred years ago in Nepal. The total population of Gurung is 8 & half lakh that is 2.5% of total population. They are the native indigenous people who have their own identity such as in custom, culture, tradition, dress, living and language. In the ancient, they used to live in small cottages and caves in the hilly region. They used to grow crops like potatoes, oats, maize, millet, paddy and mustard oil in the small valleys and river basins on the high altitude in hilly region. They used to spin and make baskets, strings, cords and threads from bamboo products and wild planets. They used to stitch their necessary clothes from the bark of 'Sisnu'(a kind of plant), jute and vine of forest plantation. They reared animals for clothes, edible items and dairy products such as goats, sheeps, cows buffalos, fowls and domestic dogs. They reared bee‐hives for honey. They used to produced woolen clothes from animals wools. Gurungs' are honest and sincere by nature. They have drudge and endeavors capability to work for their livings.

The aim of Gurungs KHE PRIH Gurung script is for writing the Gurung language. The native Gurung language is spoken in the Gandak region around Mt. Annapurna range from Burhi Gandaki to Kali Gandaki area, Locally known as the Tamu kyui (Gurung language) tamu ky ui region. The KHE PRIH Gurung script is its self new, because from the beginning to date there is no single trace of Gurung script. Gurungs are the native indigenous people of Gandaki region. After a deep and intensive study of Gurung language, here is brought and established Gurung script which called KHE PRIH. The indigenous people have their own language but due to the lack of proper script the language is disappearing and extinguishing day by day. From generation to generation language is gradually forgetting or disappearing in speaking. The Gurung language words are mostly effected and borrowed from Nepali and other languages and slightly different in speaking from the original Gurungs language.

Language is the means of communication to communicate one's feeling or desire to others. According to the background history of Gurung National it has its own language and identity to communicate each other in the society. Gurung National has spoken language for expression but it is a matter of sad that Gurung National has no Script to date. After a deep, intensive and long study regarding the Gurung Script there is no single trace of script in any period of Gurung Community history.

It could be assumed that perhaps there might be efforts on the establishement of Gurung script in previous history of Gurung Community, but the people did not heed towards the script or it might be banned down by the rulers or the Gurung fore fathers did not take care for script to establish in the society. It might be possible lthat some of the scholars tried to invent and establish the script but they had no interest on it or the rulers dominated over the script. so in present context the whole Gurung National Community is suffering from respective script from which community can learn in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

According to the linguists more than ten lanuages could disapper within the coming period. Because these languages are gradually not spoken in the respective societies. These languages have no basic written scripts. So it is necessary to develop, conserve, preserve and continue the language by forming and establishing the particular script.

There is only spoken Gurung language which is used in unwritten basis. Gurung National has three kinds of priests. They are Lama, Pachu and Klheprin. In Lama's religious script they use Tibetan script the Pachu and Klheprin have their religion preaching orally. They have no particular written script for their preaching.

In this present context script is the important element for the Gurung Community both in the reading and writing. Because language helps in speaking and listening where as script helps in reading and writing. Script is necessary to keep written documents and to develop literature. So language and script are interrelated each other for communication and written basis.

Language cannot flourish and develop without script. After a long practice and investigation on Gurung language without script it became tasteless, that is 'curry without salt'. On the path of searching and investigating here is the Gurung Script which is prepared by discussing, counseling and taking place of informal and formal seminar, workshop and orientation group discussion classes. When the seminar was taken place the linguists (Group of distinguished) and scholars directed and suggested to take the phonemic system of sound to find out the actual sound didactic rhythm coincided with the vocabulary of vowels and consonant in Gurung Language and established transcription for the Gurung society.

According to the direction and suggestion of the linguists and scholars, the phonetic conversation was taken place with the personal of Gurung National from different 8 districts of Gandaki region where Gurungs are densely inhabited and populated. The 8 districts are Gorkha, Tanhun, Lamjung, Kaski, Parbat, Syangjya, Manang and Mustang.

In conclusion, according to the spoken language the phonetic sound and vocal of the Gurung personnel's, there got the actual result of 6 vowels and 29 consonants. The phoneme of Gurung sound is denoted mostly from glottis stop and vocal cords. The vocal of Gurung language mostly sounds gutturals, cacuminals and semi‐vowels. According as the phonetic nature there is half combined character which are produced in conjunct forms with the 'matras' glottis stop y & sibilant s and nasal nga are mostly used in Gurung language. In writing patterns, spoken basis. The Gurung script is followed systemetic order of s, v, u, 3, and in written procedure, it is in combine form of half consonent and vowel. The 29 consonants are half character which are completed after using conjunct vowels. The vowels 'aa' A cf is necessary for the comfortability in speaking reading and writing because 'aa' A cf is oftenly used in words of Gurung before verbs when the meaning and sense is in negative. eg; aakhainmu, means 'not finished' as necessary vowels 'aa' A cf is taken as main vowels in the Gurung script. So in this regards Gurung script is most necessitated.

Now in the case of consonants of Gurung script they are half characters which are completed with the help of the vowels as in English/Roman. With the help of the phoneme equation vocabulary there are 29 consonents produced in Gurung phonetic speech mechanism. Again in Gurung script 29 consonants are found after the study of various dictionaries of Gurung language. The consonants of ynga (`), angda (0f), sha (z), sha (if), ksha (If) tra (q), & gnya (1) are not used or obsoleted from Gurung script, because they can be formed by combining two or more than two consonants with the help of vowels. Again the six vowel alphabets are used with the consonant characters. In the case of vowels there is no need of short or long vowels for the Gurung words.

Generally in KHE PRIH Gurung consonents are half character nature. It can be written in character basis to form a word. Deck is not used in KHE PRIH script the alphabets Ga, Ja, Da, Da are followed by applying 'halant' for writing Gha, Jha, Dha, Dha. According to the suggestion and direction of linguist and scholars, the pattern and design of the alphabets must be simple, easier, readable, reliable and easily understandable. There may be no any difficulty for writing the alphabet, character and number.

Now in together, total of 6 vowels 29 consonants and 0 to 9 numbers are available in Gurung script. Without script we can't have written documents or manuscript. Again without script we can't develop the language and literature. So script is the essential element for the development of Gurung Language. In present context, the generations are facing problem in speaking Gurung language, because the Gurung language is impacted by the other languages such as, English, Nepali, Hindi etc. Therefore, the Gurung script in most important to develop the written manuscript from which the Gurung generation can follow it and develop for Gurung Language.

- Man Bahadur Gurung