Published September 29, 2019
This video was recorded by Priyanshi Singh in Uttarakhand, India. Garhwali is primarily spoken by the Garhwali people from the Garhwal Division of Uttarakhand, a northern Indian state in the Himalayas. Garhwali is closely related to Kumauni, which together comprise the Central Pahari languages. Both varieties, despite numbering in the millions of speakers, are shrinking rapidly, largely due to the local prestige of a more distantly related language, Hindi. Most Garhwali speakers understand (if not fluently speak) the Hindi language, whereas Garhwali is only partially intelligible to most Hindi speakers. Garhwali is written in the Devanagari script. Garhwali is believed to have developed from the Khas Prakrit during the formation of the Indo-Aryan languages, and has its earliest records dating as far back as the 10th century CE. Garhwali was the official language of the Garhwali Kingdom, a nation that existed independently from India and lasted through the 17th century. Garhwali is spoken by nearly 3 million people. It is a Northern Zone Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family.