We want to introduce you to one of the depositors of the Boro Language Resources, Prafulla Basumatary. In addition to sharing his language collection with CoRSAL, Prafulla is also an admin for the Boro Community Resources Facebook group.This is an interview our Research Assistant Merrion Dale did with Prafulla earlier this month.
MD: How long have you been working on the Boro language?
PB: I have been working on Boro since 2008.
MD: How will the items in CoRSAL benefit Boro speakers and community members?
PB: The items in CoRSAL will benefit Boro speakers and community members in many ways -
a) They will be able to listen to the audio sounds - stories, songs, speeches, interviews, conversations, narratives about Boro culture, history and also how to cook traditional foods or how to do weaving, traditional ways of healing a disease, etc.
b) They will also be able to enjoy short videos about how to play a traditional game, how to make a traditional dish or rice cakes, [and] interviews of celebrated and noted Boro personalities, etc.
c) They will be able to read texts on different topics such as biographies, travelogues, short stories, poems, etc.
d) The Boro medium school teachers, students and parents will be able to watch, listen or read texts/materials appropriate to their needs from the archive. e) the items will also serve as useful data for the Boro scholars and researchers.
MD: In your experience, what has been the most rewarding aspect about documenting this language?
PB: The Boro community is aware about the loss of their language, culture, traditional rituals and values and someone should come forward to preserve those valuable treasures. I feel fortunate to be able to do something although a lot needs to be done in this regard. All the data I gathered from my fieldwork including the analyzed texts, the scanned texts from various sources on different genres, the audio and video recordings are now digitized and archived. This is the most rewarding aspect about documenting this language.
MD: Your collection is continuing to grow in the digital library, and you have recently taken on an admin role in the Boro Community Resources Facebook group. Can you talk about the things that you post in the group and the responses you have been getting from group members?
PB: Yes. I post pictures and video clips about traditional festivals. I also post scanned materials from time to time. Although the responses are not very [many] at this moment, I feel inspired by some comments. A respondent gave me the name of a village where I may get a particular traditional dance form which is not available everywhere.
The Boro Language Resource collection is available here.