The Full Wiki

Maithili language: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Maithili (मैथिली Maithilī) is a language spoken in the eastern part of Indiamarker, mainly in the Indianmarker state of Biharmarker and in the eastern Terai region of Nepalmarker. It is an offshoot of the Indo-Aryan languages which are part of the Indo-Iranian, a branch of the Indo-European languages. Linguists consider Maithili to be an Eastern Indic language, and thus a different language from Hindi, which is Central Indic in origin. According to the 2001 census in India, 12,179,122 people speak the Maithili language, but various organizations have strongly argued that the actual number of Maithili speakers is much more than the official data suggests. In times, Maithili has been considered a "dialect" of both Hindi and Bengali but thanks to an active movement calling for official status for the language, in 2003 it was included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which now allows the language to be used in education, government, and other official contexts. Maithili has a very rich literary and cultural heritage.

Maithili was traditionally written in the Maithili script (also known by the names Tirhuta and Mithilakshar) and Kaithi script. However, in the modern time Devanagari script is most commonly used. An effort is underway to preserve the Maithili script and to develop it for use in digital media by encoding the script in the Unicode standard, for which proposals have been submitted.

The term Maithili comes from Mithila, which was an independent state in ancient times. Maithili is a separate language, having a large Maithili-speaking community (4.5 crore, or 45 million, people) with a rich literature. The most famous literary figure in Maithili is the poet Vidyapati. He is credited for raising the importance of 'people's language', i.e. Maithili, in the official work of the state by influencing the Maharaja of Darbhangamarker with the quality of his poetry. The state's official language used to be Sanskrit, which distanced common people from the state and its functions. The name Maithili is also one of the names of Sita, the consort of Rama.


It is a fact that scholars in Mithila used Sanskrit for their literary work and Maithili was the language of the common folk (Abahatta). The earliest work in Maithili appears to be Varn Ratnakar by Jyotirishwar Thakur dated about 1224 AD.

The name Maithili is derived from the word Mithila, an ancient kingdom of which King Janaka was the ruler (See Ramayana). Maithili is also one of the names of Sita, the wife of King Rama and daughter of King Janaka.

The Medieval age of Maithili appears to be during Karnat Dynasty when the names of the following scholars got prominence: Gangesh, Padmanabh, Chandeshwar, Vireshwar, Vidyapati, Vachaspati, Pakshadhar, Ayachi, Udayan, Shankar etc.

Vidyapati is said to have lived in the period 1350 to 1450. Vidyapati, though a Sanskrit scholar, wrote innumerable poems (songs) relating to Bhakti and Shringar in Maithili. Though equally accepted in Bengal and Mithila, his songs are the soul of Mithila and no celebration is complete without his songs. It will not be an exaggeration to say that his songs have survived in the throats of Maithil women folk. Verses of Vidhyapati are given religious importance in the culture of Mithila. Modern Maithili Theatre started by Shri Kaushal Kumar Das in 1982. The name of the theatre is Aripan.His contribution for maithili theatre, The Chetna Samiti organization has honoured him by 'Mithila Vibhti Samman' on 31st October. The award is given by Bihar chief minister Sh. Nitish Kumar in Annual Vidyapati Samaroh.


Some of the theatrical writings of the medieval age are - Umapati (Parijat Haran), Jyotireeshwar (Dhurt Samagam), Vidyapati (Goraksha Vijay, Mani Manjari), Ramapati (Rukmini Haran), Lal (Gauri Swayambar), Manbodh (Krishna Janma).

Maithili has been preferred by many authors to write humour and satire. Writers like Dr. Hari Mohan Jha took steps to bring about fundamental changes in the centuries old Mithila Culture. His work like Khatar Kaka Ke Tarang decorated modern Maithili Literature.

Maithili has now been listed in VIIIth schedule of the Indian Constitution and thus now it is one of the 22 National Languages of India. Maithali was accepted by Sahitya Academy and since its inclusion has won awards almost every year. A number of academy awards have been won for translation from other languages.

Modern Maithili came into its own after Sir George Abraham Grierson, Irish linguist and civil servant, tirelessly researched Maithili folklore and wrote its grammar.

The type of Maithili spoken depends largely on which part of the state you belong to and in general has 2 broad variants ,one spoken in the north usually referred to as Maithili and the other spoken in eastern part of Biharmarker and Jharkhandmarker known as Angika from the former state of Angesh, the modern day district of Bhagalpur and adjoining areas.


See also

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address