[aka Torwālī, Turvali, Dardu]

Classification: Indo-European




Revitalization of Torwali poetry and music

Torwali is a Dardic language spoken by a community of about 80,000–110,000 in the idyllic valleys of upper Swat district in north Pakistan. It is one of the Pakistan’s 27 ‘definitely endangered languages’ as categorized by UNSCO in its Atlas of World’s Languages in Danger[1]. In 2007 a team of community researchers started the work of its ‘documentation and promotion’ by organizing their efforts into a local civil society organization Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi (IBT) i.e. institute for education and development. Since then the organization has been undertaking a number of revitalization initiatives targeting youth, children and elders. In Pakistan various linguists and organizations have undertaken a number of similar initiatives. But most of these good initiatives are only focused on ‘preservation’ the languages in question. Some of them altogether ignore the importance of ‘revitalization of cultures especially the music’ because many of these language activists found themselves thwarted by their version of the faith because an overwhelming majority in Pakistan now thinks everything through a religious prism. This often makes the whole endeavors of preservation and promotion of these languages limited to research circles only. But the organization Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi (IBT) has taken a holistic approach for the preservation and revitalization of the endangered language, Torwali.

Zubair Torwali


Jan. 1, 2019