Outside the frame…

Statesman News Service
KALIMPONG, Dec. 20. — Arguably the only English gentleman to expertise in the Lepcha way of life, Dr RK Spring’s book titled “Shedding some light on the history, language and literature of the Lepchas”, was released today on the 274th birth anniversary of Pano Gaeboo Achyok – last king of the indigenous race.
Celebration for the occasion – jointly organised by the ILTA and Indira Gandhi National Museum for Mankind, New Delhi, took place here at Bong Busty. “Besides focusing in the lifestyle of Lepchas, the book is a documentation of ancient manuscripts and details about the tribe put in writing from the pre colonial era when the official language of Darjeeling was either Urdu or Hindustan”, general secretary of the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association (ILTA), Mr L Tamsang said.
“It is a full appreciation of our culture ad rich literature, more interestingly, by a non-Lepcha”, he said. The book valued rupees 150 is compiled by Dr Spring, who spent 20 years of his life for a thorough research of this tribe. The Lepcha-Adivasi: Ek Parichya (Introduction of the Lepcha’s) was among the other important book, launched today. Written in Hindi, it is a compilation of 15 Lepcha writers.
“The book is set to act as a voice for the much forgotten tribe of the Lepcha’s, the actual inhabitants of Darjeeling and Sikkim. A Lepcha composition originally it was later translate in Hindi, this being most common language among the tribal population of India after their mother tongue,” Mr Tamsang said adding, “The book actually is an introduction of the Lepcha tribe and the injustice faced despite tribal status and our rich language, literature and cultural heritage,” he added. The ILTA had been working for the translation of the book for the past three years. Unfortunately even after such a
wide range of literature the Lepcha language has failed for proper recognition in Darjeeling district. The books were among the series of other Lepcha magazines and books launched today like the King Gaeboo Achyok magazine (2005), Jyoong Rong Wom: A collection of Lepcha songs, and Rummit Pada.

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