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Language Documentation

Siram Documentation

The people and the Language
Siram language is spoken in the village located at a distance of 80 kms from the main town Ramban in the district Ramban of Jammu and Kashmir state. The boundary lines of Ramban district encompass hill station Patnitop as its southern most point, Assar on its Eastern edge, Gool to the west and Banihal to the north. It is situated on a sloppy terrain with Muslims dwelling on the upper side of the village and Hindus dwelling on the lower side of the village .In between is a rough road which, besides connecting Bathini with the neighboring villages like Kabbi, Gandri, Bathili etc, also connects it with the main town of Ramban. The overall population of Siram community is around 2000 to 2500.People of the community live in communal harmony and peace with each other. Siram, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family, is listed as one of the endangered languages of Jammu and Kashmir State. The neighboring Languages spoken in the area are Poguli (spoken by the Muslim population of the village), Dogri and Punjabi spoken in the nearby areas. The language is neither having any script of its own nor having any written record. However the language has a rich folk lore. The language has not been documented yet and remains unexplored as far as the linguistic description of the language is concerned
Religion and Occupation
Hinduism is the dominant religion of the community however there is a sizable chunk of Muslims also present in the community. The Hindus believe in God /Goddesses/Ghosts/Evil spirits and Moksha (salvation).They worship Lord Rama and Goddess Saraswati besides they also believe in some local Gods and Goddesses like Raja shank Pal and Nagni Devi. Agriculture is the main occupation of the community with rice and maize as the main crops. Besides agriculture wood cutting, Grazing Cattle and stone work (which includes extracting stones and using them for different purposes) are some other occupations for men. Women also take part in farming and cattle rearing.
Present work
At present the documentation and description of the language is going on. It includes providing a brief grammatical sketch of the language and compilation of the pictorial dictionary of the language. The work to document the ethno linguistic profile of the community is undergoing with domains like stories, narratives, folklore, transportation, games and entertainment, religion and rituals, social customs and communicative behavior yet to be completed. The documentation of various aspects of Siram language and community is being done in audio and video form.
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