PEN Club and endangered languages

Lakhan Gusain lgusain at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 29 01:38:11 UTC 2003

Dear B.K.Rana,
Thanks for sending valuable information about Kusunda. Could you write some
basic features of Kusunda on the basis of which you can say it be one of the
oldest languages?
Thanking you,

Lakhan Gusain

Dr. Lakhan Gusain
Assistant Professor
3511, Frieze Building
Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1285
Tel: (734) 936-8809 (Office)
       (734) 996-4065 (Home)
Fax: (734) 647-0157

----Original Message Follows----
From: "B. K. Rana" <bk_rana at YAHOO.COM>
Reply-To: bk_rana at
Subject: Re: PEN Club and endangered languages
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 16:29:34 -0800

Dear Members in the Language List,
I am working on Kusunda language of the Himalayan
Kingdom of Nepal. I believe this language is one of
the oldest languages of the world. I have found this
language having remarkable similarities with some of
the indigenous languages across the world.

B. K. Rana
Cambridge, MA

--- Lucas Husgen <lhusgen at KIROGI.DEMON.NL> wrote:
 > At the opening of the PEN Club Writers World
 > Congress 2003 in Mexico
 > Cuidad the speech below was delivered, concerning
 > endangered cultural
 > diversity worldwide.
 > Best,
 > Lucas Hüsgen
 > ---
 > Dear PEN Colleagues:
 > The "Americas" Congress, which will take place in
 > Mexico City from
 > November 22- 28, 2003, is the first World Congress
 > of Writers of the new
 > millennium to be held on the American Continent.
 > The Congress theme, "Cultural Diversity and Freedom
 > of Expression", gives
 > us the opportunity to work on two essential aspects
 > of PEN's core mission.
 > The first is respect for the human rights of those
 > whose medium is the
 > word, and, in particular, the written word, deployed
 > either in creative
 > writing or through daily narratives and testimonies.
 > The second is respect
 > for sovereignty and cultural diversity, which is so
 > essential in the face
 > of the increasingly antidemocratic tendencies that
 > threaten to dominate
 > the world.
 > The trend towards economic globalization challenges
 > us to avoid cultural
 > homogenization and safeguard diverse ways of life
 > and languages, many of
 > which, as with minority indigenous languages, are
 > already in danger of
 > disappearing. Mexico was selected as the site for
 > this Congress because it
 > is a country where different cultures have
 > cohabitated and coexisted.
 > At the beginning of the 20th Century, Mexican
 > philosopher José Vasconcelos
 > imagined the existence of the Cosmic race, a product
 > of the crossbreeding
 > of all peoples. It now seems that new communication
 > technologies have
 > outrun us so that the ideal of a completely
 > mixed-race humanity living in
 > equality, free from the intolerances that often lead
 > to war and conflict,
 > has been replaced by a "globalized humanity" whose
 > characteristics are
 > social injustice and cultural homogeneity.
 > Near the end of the 20th Century, we realized that
 > perhaps the main cause
 > for the economic and spiritual underdevelopment of
 > many nations has been
 > the lack of respect for the cultural and economic
 > rights of the
 > individual. That is why, through this Congress, we
 > wish to call attention
 > to the fact that human development cannot be
 > achieved as long as we
 > continue to push cultural, educational and economic
 > rights into oblivion,
 > and that it is urgent and necessary to view these as
 > civil and political
 > rights.
 > Through this Congress, we are attempting to call
 > upon humanity to reflect
 > on its values and its visions as they are expressed,
 > in their highest
 > form, in written and spoken language. The loss of
 > this cultural treasure
 > would impoverish us and deny us the opportunity to
 > use our knowledge of
 > our past in order to shape not only one unique
 > future, but the newest and
 > best futures possible.
 > The 69th PEN International Congress- World Congress
 > of Writers 2003, seeks
 > to show the world that tolerance and respect can
 > only survive through the
 > free expression of diversity.
 > María Elena Ruiz Cruz
 > President, Mexican PEN
 > --
 > There's nothing like the old songs, but what's the
 > good if you can't
 > remember them. Mem. Mem. Memory.
 > William H. Gass
 > Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client:

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