LGBTI word-book in Nepal Bhasa published

Kathmandu (Pahichan) July 4 – Rukshana Kapali, a 19 year old transgender woman who is vocal in LGBTI issues and Newa issues, has published a comprehensive word book on Gender and Sexuality vocabulary in Nepal Bhasa.

The book contains terminologies of various aspects in Gender and Sexuality in English and with its Nepal Bhasa translation. The preface of the book mentions her story to publishing this book, both in English and Nepal Bhasa. More a decade of LGBTI movement upsurge in Nepal with widespread discussions regarding LGBTI and it has been prominently raised by national and mainstream media.

While, many times even local and regional media, LGBTI issues are not mostly seen in indigenous languages. “I wanted to bring a discourse of gender and sexuality in Nepal Bhasa in Newa society”, she said.

It is obvious that any social movement country-wide to be discussed in mainstream language or lingua franca. Such discussions in indigenous languages are not seen as a common trend in Nepal.

 Language is intricately linked with culture and society. Not having terminologies to discuss on LGBTI shows an absence of acceptance in the particular culture and society. This is what she says in her book.

She started this around two years ago, by starting to talk with people about need to have vocabulary on LGBTI in her native language Nepal Bhasa. She reported that she asked many people involved in Nepal Bhasa activism, but not really productive happened until she got connected with a language expert Bishnu Chitrakar.

Bishnu Chitrakar is a Nepal Bhasa expert person. She had talked with Pahichan about this two years ago when she started.

During this process she also met with senior LGBTI from Newa communities who were in closet. “Nepal Bhasa is a Tibeto-Burman language heavily influenced by Indo-Aryan languages. Nepal Bhasa is verb-oriented language, where nouns do not play a major role, but verbs do. Nepal Bhasa has more verbs than nouns and we base verb to create nouns and adjectives. I had got chance to gain knowledge of my native language in a grammatical and more practical way”, she added.

Language expert Bishnu Chitrakar helped her a lot in the draft. It took about a year to discuss on this issue from a linguistic perspective. After it was done, Rukshana took it in her own hands to add LGBTI perspective in coining the words. Some of the words already existed in Newa society and were being used or had been out of popular use. Some of them were newly coined.

“This book also might bring some controversy in Newa society, particularly amongst those who are deeply engaged with Nepal Bhasa. Many terms could be found bizarre to people. Nevertheless, I also want discussions like these to happen in such level”, Rukshana says.