Published April 22, 2020
This video was recorded by Atul Ojha in Nepal. Nepali is spoken by as many as 25 million people, primarily in the Himalayan nation of Nepal and the Indian states of Sikkim, Assam, and West Bengal, as well as by diaspora communities around the world. According to a 2011 census, it is the mother tongue of 16 million people, primarily in Nepal, where it is nationally official, as well as Sikkim and West Bengal, where it is regionally official. An Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-European language family, Nepal is distantly related to hundreds of languages originating in Europe and Asia. More specifically, it shares close genealogy with languages of northern India, such as Sindhi, Punjabi, Rajasthani, and Oriya. Nepali was primarily an oral language, with Sanskrit serving as the vehicle of written literature, until a 19th-century literary movement led by Bhanubhakta Acharya cleared a path for Nepali poetry and media.