Karenni language attracts new speakers

Karenni people from different regions are keen to learn a Karenni language created in 1955 by the former chairman of the Karenni National Progressive Party, Ku Htae Bu Peh, and mainly taught in Shadaw Township up until now.

The KNPP explain that people from Loi Kaw and Demoso Townships have asked to learn the Karenni language. The KNPP are planning to teach it region by region rather than statewide due to a lack of human resources.

Ku Oo Rei, secretary 1 of the Karenni National Progressive Party said.

“A lot of our people aren’t aware that they have their own language, especially those living in rural areas. Now people know it is available they are showing a strong willingness to learn it. We started our teaching program in Shadaw Township. People from Loi Kaw and from other townships have requested lessons, especially young people seem to be more interested.”

Ku Oo Rei said students have requested to learn the Karenni language in their holidays, and middle old age farmers have asked to learn in their free time.

A Karenni youth from Loi Kaw said.

“I am really interested to learn our language and to be fully able to be able to read and write it.”

The Karenni Literature and Culture Department said that they are preparing a six level teaching plan. Currently, the Karenni people use three different languages, two that use Burmese and Roman consonants, and the one invented by Ku Htae Bu Peh, the former chairman of the Karenni National Progressive Party. Most people in Karenni State use language based on the Burmese and Roman consonants, but most of the Karenni living on the Thailand-Burma border and in the refugee camps use Ku Htae Bu Peh’s.

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