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Village of Sanskrit pundits in Orissa

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 11:19

Kendrapara, Orissa: Sanskrit may have ceased to be spoken by people, but there is a remote village in this coastal district of Orissa where every home has a `pundit` of
the ancient language.

Sasana village in the Shyamsundar gram panchayat, which is inhabited mainly by Brahmins, has a little over 32 households with 200-odd members. In all the households, one will come across Sanskrit pundits employed in government-run Sanskrit-medium educational institutions.

"We are proud patrons of Sanskrit. The ancient language is very much alive at the village," 76-year-old Baishnav Charan Pati, a Sanskrit pundit who has retired from his
teaching job, said.

Pati said that they made sure for generations that at least one child in every household had been taught in the Sanskrit medium of education.

"Most of the Sanskrit-educated residents have found employment either in government schools or have taken up career as priests to preside over Hindu ceremonies," Pati

Take the case of Pundit Trilochan Sadangi. Both his sons and daughter are Sanskrit-educated and are teaching the language in government-run schools.
"By encouraging our children to learn Sanskrit, we are trying to revive the language. We are largely successful till now and we earnestly hope that our future generations will keep the tradition alive," Pati said.
The village is in the neighbourhood of Babkarpur, which has a miniature temple dedicated to the great poet Kalidas, author of `Abhigynam Shakuntalam` and many other classics, which tells eloquently of the region`s love for Sanskrit.


First Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 11:19

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