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World's Indigenous Peoples Spotlight: Dr. Devina Krishna tells us about the Dogra people

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

In celebration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, The Lingua-Cultura Experience, 7000 Languages and the Global Coalition for Language Rights have partnered to highlight indigenous peoples and communities throughout the month of August on our multiple social media channels and websites. You too can share your community's language and culture with the world, by completing this survey.


I am Dr. Devina Krishna, an academic and linguist from India. I teach linguistics in the Department of English at Patna Women’s College in India. I belong to the Dogra community of Jammu and Kashmir. The Dogra people are an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group in India consisting of the Dogri language speakers. The Dogra people live in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and adjoining areas of Punjab.

The Dogri language

Dogri belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of languages. It is spoken by about 5 million people in India, primarily in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, regions of Himachal Pradesh and parts of Punjab. The language uses the Takri script.

Cultural practices of the Dogra people

One of the most popular folk-song from Dogri is Pala sipahiya dogariya, reflecting feelings of a lover in the memory of her beloved. The famous Basohli paintings, referred to as 'Makkabba' are known for their vivid colors, bold lines and deep-set facial patterns. In addition to these, Dogri has a rich literature of folktales. The traditional food of Dogras are madra, rajmah and gheur.

Devina's hopes and desires for the future of the Dogri language and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032

Language is our identity and a reflection of our coexistence. It is important to speak one's language. Many Dogri writers have contributed immensely to the promotion of Dogri, but there has been mediocrity in Dogri literature. I hope that the language is spoken by a majority of people in those regions and that children also speak Dogri as their native tongue. I am thankful to the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 for providing us with the platform to express our views.

Celebrating the language champions from our community

One of my friends, Udita Sawhney, a research scholar of linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University is working on Dogri. She has written several research papers on this language.

Resources to learn more about the Dogra people's language, culture, history and community

I have spoken on linguistic features of this language in international language symposiums and festivals. Below is the link to my talk, which you can also watch below:


We would like to thank Dr. Devina Krishna for sharing the Dogra people's language and culture with us. You can also find this spotlight feature on the 7000 Languages website here.

Do you want to share your community's language and culture with the world? Learn more about the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples campaign, by clicking here. We look forward to learning about you, your language, culture, history and community.


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