Raji

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A language of Nepal

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

2,410 (2001 census), decreasing. Ethnic population: Over 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 nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).

Dialects

Barh Bandale, Naukule, Purbiya. Similar to Rawat [jnl] and Raute [rau]. 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. Almost all use Nepali [npi], Tharu or Hindi [hin].

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.
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, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian.