A seminar on the minority languages of Tibet on Tuesday 26 May, lead by Gerald Roche, gathered a select but interested audience, rounding off the spring term.
The seminar on Tibet's minority languages on Tuesday began with an introduction by Dr. Gerald Roche. Roche provided insights into the linguistic diversity of Tibet, based on data he has compiled over the past eighteen months. Roche's survey of contemporary linguistic literature suggests there may be as many as 52 languages spoken in Tibet, Tibetan not included. Many of these minority languages are presently endangered to varying degrees. Roche's presentation was followed by a talk from Dorji Tashi, a Tibetan from China and speaker of Manegacha – one of the minority languages of the region. Tashi gave his personal perspectives on some of the challenges facing speakers of the language today, including Manegacha's exclusion from most public domains, and discrimination from surrounding Tibetan populations. A discussion on the issue of Tibet's linguistic diversity followed, with audience members representing not only various departments and units within the university, but also Sweden's Tibetan community. The seminar was co-funded by Uppsala University’s Forum for South Asian Studies.