Though India is categorized as a country, in reality it is a continent in itself. It is country with so many religions, traditions, food, cultures and languages that no place will look similar to one another. The appearance of the country keeps changing at a distance of few miles. The people start speaking all together a new dialect once you cross a boundary of a region. For a language to stand out in this milieu and create a niche of its own is no easy task, but Bhojpuri which is not even a official language of India has achieved this impossible task. Some of the great politicians, freedom fighters, leaders, actors and other famous personalities have lent their own style to this language. Apart from the national official language Hindi, Bhojpuri is one of the most widely spoken and understood local language of India.
Due to cultural reasons, the language is considered to be a dialect of the Hindi language. Many lovers of the language are working to give it a separate status as it will face the danger of extinction if it is not recognized and promoted in the present era where local languages are taking a back seat. The advent of internet and globalization has brought English language to the forefront and pushed other languages behind. Without proper promotion and encouragement, the language which is loved by many people may die out soon. It has already been forgotten in the country of Pakistan, where the Mujahirs spoke the dialect earlier. Today they speak only Urdu. The same fate has been seen in the countries of Guyana and Trinidad, where people are forgetting the language and not many people are able to even recognize it anymore. The activists who are working for the official status of this language hope to see that it will be included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
Only some of the languages out of 1,652 different dialects spoken in India are known outside their own region. Bhojpuri spoken by nearly 33,099,497 according to the 2001 census is one of those languages that have been recognized, used and loved all over the country. It is estimated that nearly 200 million Indians speak the language which even if not spoken, is recognized by many more people of India, especially those who speak Hindi. The people of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand speak Bhojpuri besides it usage in countries like Nepal, Mauritius, Fiji, and Trinidad & Tobago.
Bhojpuri Songs are very popular amongst Bhojpuri and Hindi speaking people. This particular song called “Dabe Paon Aiha Nazariya Bachake” is a popular one.
Bhojpuri language is one of the important languages of the Bihar state besides Angika, Magadhi, Maithili and Bajjika. Though it has spread to other parts of the world, the roots of the language still lay in the state of Bihar. The schools of Bihar teach the language as a compulsory subject to students up to intermediate level, though the students have a choice to study at higher levels.
Unlike many languages of India which were influenced by foreign invasions, Bhojpuri is an independent language which was in use since ancient times. The rich and famous Bhojpuri literature holds testimony to this. Kabir with his touching soulful nirgun poetry brought the language to be noticed by everyone, though there had been the Siddha and Naths who had written poetry in the language earlier. The rich literature of Bhojpuri language has been enriched further with works by Rahul, Sankrityayan, Vivek Rai, Bhikhari Thakur, Teg Ali Teg, Ramdatta Shukla, Ram Garib Chaube and many more. Deviksaracarita, Badmasdarpan, Jangal me Mangal and Nagari Vilap. The folk literature of Bhojpuri language is so famous that are enjoyed by non-speakers of the language too. Among the folklores the Kijari songs and dramas of Bidesia are very popular.
Though Bhojpuri is a language of Bihar state, it has no connection with Maithili, which is another language of the state and little similarity to Magahi. It is much closer to Hindi, Braj bhakha and Awadhi languages. Though today Bhojpuri has made a mark of its own, earlier it was considered a part of Hindi language by the government.
Besides literature, Bhojpuri language has left its impression on films and television too. It is only language of Bihar that makes full length films. The language has had great impression on Bollywood too. There are many characters in the Bollywood movies that speak the dialect and are characterized in a certain way. One of the most popular characters is a simpleton with heart of gold who is stunned to corrupt ways of the city. It has nearly half a century of movie making which has seen some historical cinema being made in the language. Mahua and Hamar TV are two of the very popular TV channels of the language which are viewed by people who love the language.
In recent years Bhojpuri Songs have become very popular. One of the very popular is the ‘lollipop lagelu’. It is played in almost all parties. You can listen to the Bhojpuri song in the video below.
If you are travelling to Bihar, then here are some Bhojpuri words that might come in handy but do note that Bihar is part of the Hindi heartland hence Hindi words and phrases would be great as well.
Bhojpuri words and phrases in English
Hello – Pranam
Yes – Haa
No – Nahi
Your – Tum
Me – Hum
Mine – Hamar
Your’s – Tohar
Okay – Thik ba
Boy – Laika
Girl – Laiki
Toilet – Paikhana
What is your name – Tohar naam ka ha
Thank you – Dhanevad
How are you – Kaisan bani
Let’s go – Chale ke
Everything is fine – Sab thik ba
Awesome – Garda ura delu
I don’t know – Humka naikhe malum
Father – Babu ji
Mother – Maai
In recent years, Bhojpuri songs have become popular! In fact Bhojpuri songs have become so popular that many Hindi movies are now trying to cash in the popularity of Bhojpuri songs by including a song copied (spoofs) from many Bhojpuri songs and films. For instance, the very popular Hindi film “Akhiyon se goli mare” was taken from the Bhojpuri song “Nathuniya se goli maare”. Such is the popularity of today’s Bhojpuri music industry.
You can see this particular Bhojpuri song in the video below.
If you type Bhojpuri songs or Bhojpuri song on Youtube then you will notice that there is a plethora of songs but unfortunately entire Bhojpuri music industry appears to be vulgar in nature. Perhaps this is why Bhojpuri music industry has gained in popularity. On the hand there is a range of Bhojpuri songs that are truly folk in nature such as Bhojpuri nirgun songs and songs sung by Sharda Sinha.
But do not be fooled by these songs, the Bhojpuri language is very sweet and is spoken widely in Bihar and eastern UP. If you travel to any of these states, then you can learn some of the Bhojpuri words and phrases given above.