The 29th of Ashad, according to the Nepali calendar, is the birth anniversary of Bhanu Bhakta Acharya, one of Nepali literature’s greatest poets. The day is often known as Bhanu Jayanti; Jayanti meaning anniversary. Acharya was born on 29th Ashad 1871 BS (1814 AD). He is often referred to as the Adikavi, where Adi means first and Kavi means poet in Nepali. He is addressed as the Adikavi because he was the first to use Nepali language in literature. One of his greatest contributions is translating the scared Hindu epic Ramayana into Nepali. 200 years ago, the Nepali language was dominated by Sanskrit, which was the language of the elites. By using the Nepali language, Acharya made literature and the scared text of Ramayana available for many Nepalese who were not able to read Sanskrit.
As I study the history of language as a literature student, I come to see that the history of language is the history of humanity. Like the tussle of power, the tussle of the reigning language remains a major concern.
On the occasion of Bhanu Jayanti, I had the chance to share my take on poetry and recite a poem along with fellow poets on Hamro Patro Podcast. Hamro Patro is a multicultural Nepali calendar app.
Click here to listen to the podcast.