Friday, August 20, 2010

Some thoughts on Zo Culture, Customs and Language

By P. Kham Do Nang in his unpublished B.R.E Thesis; Upto date history of Zo tribes March,1994 (Zo ngaina leh tuonthu khangthu); Yangon, Myanmar(Burma).
We all know that our nationality would remain and exist only as long as we preserve our cultures and customs. But nowadays we can simply say that some of our sons and daughters ignored our own cultures and customs., and are ashamed of it because of being Zo tribes. Some cannot speak our mother tongue(Zo/Zou language). They even avoid and shun from observing and abiding their own cultures and customs. Some even substituted other national names instead of their traditional names. Some modernize their personal name which their parents named them at their birth. Some even look down and curse their own tribe of Zo people. These are the great mistakes and faults of their parents or guardians, who carelessly allowed them to ignore and terminate their precious culture and customs from the very beginning of their childhood.(Page 330
Donot let your whole family speak other dialect except our mother tongue(read: Zo) especially in your residence and its compound. Never forget to give first priority to your nationality, culture, custom, mother tongue and God. Keep your nationality by preserving your valuable cultures and customs which are as precious a silver and gold, that your almighty God purposely and especially provide for you from the beginning of the creation of the world.(Ibid.Page 332)
Actually, words that are used in Zo songs are common language which are widely used by Zomi of Tedim and Ton Zaang townships. In fact, some Zo traditional songs have been used in Christian songs. To be in line with the present situation as well as for the preservation of Zo traditinal songs and cultures, the Zo Christians should consider the used of Zo traditional songs in praising God. Since, Zo traditional songs are as precious as silver and gold, it is our task to maintain and preserve such a valuable merit handed down from generations to generations. (Ibid.Page 333)
The original tongue of the Zote might be Hâidawi dialect. As the Israelites retained the Hebrew language so also if we are going to retain our real mother tongue, we must speak Hâidawi dialect, for it was the first and lingua Franca of the Zote descendants. Similarly, if anyone among the Zote descendants would like to print any book or Bible, he would use the Hâidawi dialect words, not because of its fitness but only for it originality. I believe we all agree to give first priority to Haidawi dialect as our Zote- original mother tongue.(Ibid.Page 442).

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