Sunday, March 23, 2014

Indian Languages - Marathi

Marathi (Ma-raa-tee) is spoken predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The word 'Marathi' itself is presumed to be derived from 'maharashtri' meaning 'the language of the great land'. It is written in the Devanagari script, just like Hindi. However, as compared to Hindi, it has a heavy influence of Sanskrit-derived words.
The most fascinating literary traditions in Marathi language is the contribution of philosophers and saint-poets like Moropant, Dnyaneshwar, Eknath, Namdev, Chokhmela, Samarth Ramdas, and the prolific Tukaram who composed thousands of abhangs - Marathi devotional poems in praise of the Hindu god, Vittal sung during an annual pilgrimage called Warkari
Contemporary writers, poets and playwrights include Sane Guruji, P.L. Deshpande, Ranjit Desai, Mangesh Padgaonkar, Kusumagraj, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Vijay Tendulkar and Dilip Chitre.
According to the 2001 Indian census, there are 71,701,478 speakers of Marathi in the country with as many as 42 dialects. 

An edited version of the article was published in Culturama's September 2012 Issue.

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