Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Kundagannada

Dialects are an important component of any language and Kannada has perhaps the most that any Indian language can have. Kannada has no less than twenty dialects and almost all of them, barring three,  are spoken in Karnataka itself.
While Dharwad and Mysore Kannada are fairly well known dialects, there are others that are not beyond the boundaries of the areas in which the are spoken.
One such dialect is Kundagannada or Kundapura Kannada and this is mainly a dialect of Kannada spoken in Kundapura taluk of Udupi district of Karnataka.
This dialect is different from the Mangalore Kannada or coastal Kannada that we hear. People of Kundapura strongly believe that their Kannada is the most chaste of all Kannada dialects and that it has never been corrupted by dialects or languages from other places.
The Kundapura Kannada, they maintain, is the original Kannada as it has so far managed to preserve its chastity and uniqueness. It has been very negligibly influenced by other languages, they say.
Kundapura Kannada is also known as Kota Kannada as it was first spoken by people of Kota and Kota Brahmins of Karnataka (Kota Brahmins believe that they were brought o the west Coast from north India by Parashurama.They do not believe in any human Guru or swamiji. They call Lord Narasimha their Guru).
Later, it spread to Brahmavara in south, Shiroor in north, Siddapur, Shankarnarayana and Hebri where it is still spoken.
Therefore, this Kannada is also known as Kota-Kundapura Kannada and very few people living outside these areas know about it.
Infact, Mangaloreans themselves find it tough to follow this language when they hear it for the first time. This dialect has two district forms-one spoken by Brahmins and the other by non-Brahmins.
The language gained popularity even in the literary world when popular Kannada novelist, Vaidehi (Janaki Srinivasa Murthy), used it in her novels. Vaidehi, who hails from Kundapur, resides in Manipal, uses this dialect regularly in her works.
But, with growing urbanization, the dialect too is changing with times. Many English words are replacing original Kota-Kannada words.
Kundapura Kannada is a faithful reflection of the life, art and culture of  the area. Want to experience it. Then head for Kundapura or Kota.  

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