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Remarks by High Commissioner Mrs. K. Nandini Singla at the Launch of the Gamat Exhibition 15 Sept 2022

Remarks at the Launch of the Gamat Exhibition (15 Sept 2022)

Hon’ble Mr. Avinash Teeluck, Minister of Arts and Cultural Heritage

Dr. Sarita Boodhoo, Chairperson, Bhojpuri Speaking Union and Members of the Bhojpuri Speaking Union

Mr Emmanuel Richon, Curator of the Blue Penny Museum

Heads of Socio-Cultural Organizations

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

All Protocols Observed

Good afternoon! Bon Jour! Namaste

Kaysan hawa sab log? Sab log khushi hawa na?

Humraa hinyaa aake / bahut achchha lagat bate!

Jái jamais parle en Bhojpuri en Inde!  La premier fois que je le fait, cést ici a líle Maurice! Cést pour ca quón dit que les relations entre Maurice et lÍnde sont vrainment speciale!!

I am delighted and honoured to be here with you at the iconic Blue Penny Museum to celebrate the great Bhojpuri singer of Mauritius, Sona Noayan, the ‘King of Gamat’, Bhai Sona, who kept the flame of creative Bhojpuri singing alive for over five decades. Jab se main Mauritius aayee hoon, maine Bhai Son aka naam sunaa hai aur kaise unka zabardast gaana khaley piley Jeeley sunke dil khush hota hai! Aaj Gamat l’accroche ke prastuthiyan dekhne ke baad, main kalpna kar sakti hoon ki Sona Noyan ko sunkar kaise masti ka mahaul banta tha!

  1. THANK & COMMEND SARITA BOODHOOji: Thank you, known from the day I arrived in Mauritius, friend, well-wisher and mentor. Applaud Dr. Sarita Boodhoo ji for organising this event to commemorate the iconic Bhojpuri singer, Bhojpuri language, India and the great gesture of bringing in his Challenger. This proves that Art has only lovers.  
  2. CONGRATULATE SARITAJI: Reelected Chairperson of the Bhojpuri Speaking Union. one-woman army: inclusion of Geet Gawai in 2016 in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;International Bhojpuri Mahotsaw 2014 to commemorate 180thanniversary of Girmitias; Annual celebration of Bihar Diwas ; 51st GEET GAWAI School at Dagotiere; World Hindi Secretariat, Aaapravasi Ghat; known as ‘Didi’ worldwide.
  1. BHOJPURI IN MAURITIUS: most Indian indentured immigrants, called Hindustani earlier, link language between them and India- Mauritius (French sugarcane plantation Manager, Chinese village shopkeeper and Creoles also words like JALSA, NASHA, PAISA NAI BA, PANI NAI BA). Health/Agriculture Ministries mass communication programs on radio and TV in Bhojpuri; song competitions such as BHOJPURI BAHAR on MBC TV, DHOL BAJE on Radio In Mauritius, Bhojpuri channel on MBC (NEWS).

Given Mauritius’s demography, a powerful influence in Mauritius. A)Government of Mauritius 8th February, death anniversary of Legendary Bhojpuri Singer Sona Noyan as Annual Bhojpuri Gamat Day is befitting recognition of this. (b) The inclusion of Bhojpuri Geet Gawai in UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2016, shows Bhojpuri not just important to India or Mauritius, but to the whole world.

  1. HISTORY: Bhojpuri, descendant of Magadhi Prakrit language, dating back to 7th century, today Bhojpuri diaspora of 200 million people, spoken by more than 50 million people in India, Mauritius, Nepal (where it is recognized as a national language), Fiji, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Bangladesh, etc. Various Bhojpuri dialects like Kharwari, Bhojpuri Tharu, Domra, Madhesi, Musahari, Nagpuriya Bhojpuri continue to flourish. Bhojpuri literature which can be traced back to the 8th century and the Bhojpuri Bhajans written by Kabir and other saints from 15th to 18th century is now a flourishing genre in itself through books like BIDESIYA and PHOOL DALIYA and Bhojpuri poetry by Dr. MOONESHWARLAL CHINTAMANI and DR. MADHUKAR BHAGAT. Bhojpuri films Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo in 1962, today we have a flourishing Bhojpuri film industry.
  2. Sona Noyan: won first Prize in MBC song competition in 1996 with iconic song Khale Piley. not only a Bhojpuri singer but also one of the best ambassadors of Indian culture. Scriptures: Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Satyarth Prakash and Kabir. popularity beyond his village Trois Bras, to  whole of Mauritius, India, UK, France, Scotland, Reunion, India, etc.  Road by his house renamed after him, a CD – Sunte Raho of songs
  3. Future: We can perhaps do a few more things to promote Bhojpuri:
  • Given growing popularity of Indo-Carribbean Chutney music, perhaps set up a Sona Nayan Gamat School to train youngsters in Gamat.
  • I believe that there was a proposal to organize an international Bhojpuri Mahotsav with Covid now receding, can this be held?
  • We could invite famous Bhojpuri singers and film actors from India to attract youngsters to the language.
  • I was very happy to see on Youtube recently a Ram Katha of 400 episodes entirely in Bhojpuri language by Mahamandeleshwar Guruji. I believe this is being telecast on MBC. May be we could encourage more such programmes in Bhojpuri language.
  • Regular exchanges with BIHAR Govt?
  1. Thanks: Hon’ble Minister of Arts and Cultural Heritage/officials,



Dhanyavaad. Thank you. Merci beaucoup.

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