Raji

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A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Ban Raji, Janggali, Rajibar, Rawati, Rjya
Population

3,760 (2011 census), decreasing. Ethnic population: 4,000.

Location

Bheri Zone, Surkhet, Banke and Bardiya districts; Seti Zone, Kailali district; Mahakali Zone, Kanchanpur district.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Rajhi.

Dialects

Barh Bandale, Naukule, Purbiya. Reportedly similar to Rawat [jnl]. Speakers of Barh Bandale and Purbiya have difficulty in understanding the Naukule variety. Lexical similarity: From 84% and 86% between the three varieties; 55% with Raute [rau].

Language Use

In one village in Kailali District, Khailad VDC, speakers under 6 years of age and over 60 years old are monolingual. Religion; mixed use: Home, friends, work. Some use among all ages. Negative attitudes. Also use Hindi [hin], Nepali [npi].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 22% (1991 census). Literacy in Nepali [npi] is increasing since parents have started sending their children to school. Poetry. Dictionary.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

The Raji were a nomadic group, but now settled. Sharma (1990) identifies Raji in India (perhaps Bodo Gadaba [gbj]) as a Munda language with borrowings from Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan. Barh Bandale dialect is the most prestigious. May be the same as Rawat [jnl] in India. Traditional religion, Buddhist.