|Region||Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Bihar. Widely spoken in Surat, Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai. Prominent speakers in Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai|
|Native speakers||33 million (2007)|
|Writing system||Oriya alphabet (Brahmic)
|Official language in||Odisha, Jharkhand|
|ISO 639-3||ori – inclusive code
ory – Oriya
spv – Sambalpuri
bgw – Bhatri
ort – Adivasi Oriya
dso – Desiya
Oriya (ଓଡ଼ିଆ oṛiā), officially spelled Odia is an Indian language, belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is mainly spoken in the Indian states of Odisha and in parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Oriya is one of the many official languages in India; it is the official language of Odisha and the second official language of Jharkhand. Oriya is the predominant language of Odisha, where Oriya speakers comprise around 83.33% of the population according to census surveys.
Outside Odisha, there are also significant Oriya-speaking populations in other linguistic regions, such as the Midnapore district of West Bengal, the East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum Seraikela Kharsawan district, Simdega, Gumla, Khunti, Ranchi district of Jharkhand, the Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Vishakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh, eastern districts of Chhattisgarh state. Due to the increasing migration of labour, the west Indian state of Gujarat also has a significant Oriya speaking population with Surat being the city with the second largest Oriya-speaking population in India. The Oriya-speaking people are also found in significant numbers in the cities of Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Mumbai, Raipur, Jamshedpur, Baroda, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Kolkata, Kharagpur, Guwahati, Shillong, Pune, and Silvassa in India.
The Oriya diaspora constitute a sizeable number in several countries around the world. They are significant in number in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Java, Sumatra and Bali mainly carried by sadhaba, the ancient traders from Odisha who carried the language along with the culture during the old day trading, and in the western countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and England. Oriya speakers are regarded as one of the ‘Transnational Ethnic Indian Groups’. In India, the language is spoken by over 31 million people, and globally over 45 million speak Oriya. It is one of the official languages of India and the major language of Odisha. Oriya language has spread also to the other parts of the globe such as Burma, Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Mughalbandi Oriya is considered as proper or Standard Oriya due to literary traditions. Mughalbandi Oriya is spoken in Puri, Khurdha, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Anandapur, Dhenkanal, Angul and Nayagarh district with little variance.
- Midnapori Oriya: Spoken in the undivided Midnapore District of West Bengal.
- Singhbhumi Oriya: Spoken in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawan district of Jharkhand
- Baleswari Oriya: Spoken in Baleswar, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
- Ganjami Oriya: Spoken in Ganjam and Gajapati districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
- Desiya Oriya: Spoken in Koraput, Rayagada, Nowrangpur and Malkangiri Districts of Odisha and in the hilly regions of Vishakhapatnam, Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh.
- Sambalpuri Oriya: Spoken in Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Debagarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur and Sundargarh districts of Odisha and by some people in Raigarh, Mahasamund, Raipur districts of Chhattisgarh state.
- Bhatri: Spoken in South-western Odisha and eastern-south Chhattisgarh.
- Halbi: Spoken in undivided Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state.
Oriya is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan language family. It is thought to be directly descended from a Magadhi Prakrit similar to Ardha Magadhi, which was spoken in eastern India over 1,500 years ago, and is the primary language used in early Jain texts. Oriya appears to have had relatively little influence from Persian and Arabic, compared to other major North Indian languages.
The history of the Oriya language is divided into:
- Old Oriya (7th century–1200): The origin of the Oriya literature can be traced to "Bauddha Gana O Doha", otherwise known as Charyapada written by the Buddhist Siddhas of Odisha. The Oriya language begins to appear in inscriptions with Oriya scripts in temples, copper plates, palm-leaf manuscripts etc. Traces of Oriya words and expressions have been found in inscriptions dating from the 7th century AD. For example, the Oriya word କୁମ୍ଭାର /kumbha:rɔ/ ‘potter’ occurs in a copperplate inscription ‘belonging to a date not later than the 7th century AD’. Similarly, in inscriptions of 991 AD, Oriya words like ଭିତୁରୁ /bhituru/ ‘from inside’ and ପନ୍ଦର /pɔndɔrɔ/ ‘fifteen’ can be found. ‘An Oriya Passage’ also has been found in another inscription of about 715 AD.
- Early Middle Oriya (1200–1400): The earliest use of prose can be found in the Madala Panji or the Palm-leaf Chronicles of the Jagannatha temple at Puri, which date back to the 12th century.
- Middle Oriya (1400–1700): Mahabharat, Chandi Puran, Vilanka Ramayan of Shudramuni Sarala Das. Arjuna Das, a contemporary to Sarala Dasa, wrote Rama-Bibha, a significant long poem in Oriya. Towards the 16th century, five poets emerged, though there are hundreds year gap in between them. But they are known as Panchasakha's as they believed to same school of thought, Utkaliya Vaishnavism. The poets are Balaram Das, Jagannath Das, Achyutananda Das, Ananta Das and Jasobanta Das.
- Late Middle Oriya (1700–1850): Usabhilasa of Sisu Sankara Das, the Rahasya-manjari of Deva-durlabha Dasa and the Rukmini-bibha of Kartikka Das were written. A new form of novels in verse evolved during the beginning of the 17th century when Ramachandra Pattanayaka wrote Haravali. Upendra Bhanja took a leading role in this period, his creations were Baidehisha Bilasa, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, Lavanyabati were proved landmark in Oriya Literature. Dinakrushna Das’s Rasokallola and Abhimanyu samanta Simhara’s Bidagdha Chintamani are prominent Kavyas of this time. Four major poets emerged in the end of the era are Kabisurya Baladeb Rath, Santha Kabi or Andha Muni Bhima Bhoi, Brajanath Badajena and Gopal Krushna Pattanaik.
- Modern Oriya (1850 till present day): The first Oriya printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries which made a great revolutions in Oriya literature and language.
Ancient Form of Oriya Language in 2nd Century BC Rock edict King Ashoka
The script in the edicts of Ashoka in 2nd century BC at Dhauli and Jaugada and the inscriptions of Kharavela in Hati Gumpha of Khandagiri give us the first glimpse of possible origin of Oriya language. From the point of view of language, the inscriptions of Hati Gumpha are near modern Oriya and essentially different from the language of the Ashokan edicts. A point has also been made as to whether Pali was the prevalent language in Odisha during this period. The Hati Gumpha inscriptions, which are in Pali, are perhaps the only evidence of stone inscriptions in Pali. This may be the reason why the German linguist Prof. Hermann Oldenberg mentioned that Pali was the original language of Odisha.
Traces of Oriya words and expressions have been found in inscriptions dating from the 7th century AD. For example, the Oriya word କୁମ୍ଭାର /kumbha:rɔ/ ‘potter’ occurs in a copperplate inscription ‘belonging to a date not later than the 7th century AD’. Similarly, in inscriptions of 991 AD, Oriya words like ଭିତୁରୁ /bhituru/ ‘from inside’ and ପନ୍ଦର /pɔndɔrɔ/ ‘fifteen’ can be found. ‘An Oriya Passage’ also has been found in another inscription of about 715 AD.
Charyapada of 8th Century and its affinity with Oriya language
The beginnings of Oriya poetry coincide with the development of Charya Sahitya, the literature thus started by Mahayana Buddhist poets. This literature was written in a specific metaphor named “Sandhya Bhasha” and the poets like Luipa, Kanhupa are from the territory of Odisha. The language of Charya was considered as Prakrita. In one of his poems, Kanhupa wrote:
"Your hut stands outside the city
Oh, untouchable maid
The bald Brahmin passes sneaking close by
Oh, my maid, I would make you my companion
Kanha is a kapali, a yogi
He is naked and has no disgust
There is a lotus with sixty-four petals
Upon that the maid will climb with this poor self and dance."
The language of Kanhupa's poetry has strange resemblance with modern Oriya language. For example:
"Ekaso padumo chowshathi pakhudi
Tahin chadhi nachao dombi bapudi"
Paduma (Padma: Lotus), Chowshathi (64), Pakhudi (petals) Tahin (There), Chadhi (rise) nachao (to dance) Dombi (a female of Odisha from untouchable caste), Bapudi (a very colloquial Oriya language to apply as 'poor fellow').
"Hali Dombi, Tote puchhami sadbhabe.
Isisi jasi dombi kahari nabe."
These poems needn't require any translation in modern Oriya dialects.
Poet Jayadeva's literary contribution
Jayadeva was a Sanskrit poet. He was born in an Utkala Brahmin family of Puri in circa 1200 AD. He is most known for his composition, the epic poem Gita Govinda, which depicts the divine love of the Hindu deity Krishna and his consort, Radha, and is considered an important text in the Bhakti movement of Hinduism. About the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th, the influence of Jayadeva's literary contribution changed the pattern of versification in Oriya.
At a period when Oriya was already a fixed and settled language, Bengali did not exist. The Bengalis spoke a vast variety of corrupt forms of Eastern Hindi. It is not till quite recent times that we find anything that can with propriety be called a Bengali language.
We may place the Hindi with its subsidiary forms Gujurati and Punjabi first fixing their rise and establishment as a modern languages distinct from their previous existence as Prakrut till the 12th or m13th century. Oriya must have quite completed its transformation by the end of the 14th century. Bengali was no separate independent language but a maze of dialects without a distinct national or provincial type till the 17th or beginning of the 18th century. It was not till the gradual decay of the central Mohamedan power of Delhi enabled the provincial governors to assume an independent position that Bengali severed itself from Hindi and assumed characteristics which now vindicate for its right to be called a separate language.
Oriya has 28 consonant phonemes and 6 vowel phonemes.
The velar nasal [ŋ] is given phonemic status in some analyses. Nasals assimilate for place in nasal–stop clusters. /ɖ ɖʱ/ have flap allophones [ɽ ɽʱ] in intervocalic and final position (but not at morpheme boundaries). Stops are sometimes deaspirated between /s/ and a vowel or an open syllable /s/+vowel and a vowel. Some speakers distinguish between single and geminate consonants.
Unlike Hindi, Oriya retains most of the cases of Sanskrit, though the nominative and vocative have merged (both without a separate marker), as have the accusative and dative. There are three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter), and two grammatical numbers (singular and plural). There are three true tenses (the present, past and future), others being formed with auxiliaries.
The history of Oriya literature begins in the 14th century, with the poet Sarala Dasa's works Chandi Purana and Vilanka Ramayana, in praise of the goddess Durga. Rama-bibaha, written by Arjuna Dasa, was the first long poem written in the Oriya language.
The following era is termed the Panchasakha Age and stretches until the year 1700. The period begins with the writings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whose Vaishnava influence brought in a new evolution in Oriya literature. Notable religious works of the Panchasakha Age include the Balarama Dasa, Jagannatha Dash, Yasovanta, Ananta and Acyutananda. The authors of this period mainly translated, adapted, or imitated Sanskrit literature. Other prominent works of the period include the Usabhilasa of Sisu Sankara Dasa, the Rahasya-manjari of Deva-durlabha Dasa and the Rukmini-bibha of Kartikka Dasa. A new form of novels in verse evolved during the beginning of the 17th century when Ramachandra Pattanayaka wrote Haravali. Other poets like Madhusudana, Bhima Bhoi, Dhivara, Sadasiva and Sisu Isvara-dasa composed another form called kavyas (long poems) based on themes from Puranas, with an emphasis on plain, simple language.
However, during the Bhanja Age (also known as the Age of Riti Yuga) beginning with turn of the 18th century, verbally tricky Oriya became the order of the day. Verbal jugglery, obscenity and eroticism characterise the period between 1700 and 1850, particularly in the works of the era's eponymous poet Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja (1670–1720). Bhanja's work inspired many imitators of which the most notable is Arakshita Das. Family chronicles in prose relating religious festivals and rituals are also characteristic of the period.
The first Oriya printing typeset was cast in 1836 by Christian missionaries. Although the handwritten Oriya script of the time closely resembled the Bengali and Assamese scripts, the one adopted for the printed typesets was significantly different, leaning more towards the Tamil script and Telugu script. Amos Sutton produced an Oriya Bible (1840), Oriya Dictionary (1841–43) and an An Introductory Grammar of Oriya (1844).
Oriya has a rich literary heritage dating back to the thirteenth century. Sarala Dasa who lived in the fourteenth century is known as the Vyasa of Odisha. He translated the Mahabharata into Oriya. In fact, the language was initially standardised through a process of translating classical Sanskrit texts such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Srimad Bhagabatam. The translation of the Srimad Bhagabatam by Jagannatha Das was particularly influential on the written form of the language. Oriya has had a strong tradition of poetry, especially devotional poetry.
Prose in the language has had a late development.
Three great poets and prose writers, Kabibar Radhanath Ray (1849–1908), Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843–1918) and Madhusudan Rao (1853–1912) made Oriya their own. They brought in a modern outlook and spirit into Oriya literature. Around the same time the modern drama took birth in the works of Rama Sankara Ray beginning with Kanci-Kaveri (1880).
One of the great writers in 19th century was Pandit Krushna Chandra Kar (1907-1995) from Cuttack, who wrote many books for children like Pari Raija, Kuhuka Raija, Panchatantra, Adi Jugara Galpa Mala, etc. He was last felicitated by the Sahitya Academy in the year 1971-72 for his contributions to Oriya literature, development of children fictions, and biographies.
One of the prominent writers of 19th and 20th century was Muralidhar Mallick (1927–2002). His contribution to Historical novels is beyond words. He was last felicitated by the Sahitya Academy in the year 1998 for his contributions to Oriya literature. His son Khagendranath Mallick (born 1951) is also a well-known writer. His contribution towards poetry, criticism, essays, story and novels is commendable. He was the former President of Utkal Kala Parishad and also former President of Odisha Geeti Kabi Samaj. Presently he is a member of the Executive Committee of Utkal Sahitya Samaj. Another illustrious writer of the 20th century was Mr. Chintamani Das. A noted academician, he was written more than 40 books on fiction, short stories, biographies, storybooks for children. Born in 1903 in Sriramachandrapur village under Satyabadi block, Chintamani Das is the only writer who has written biographies on all the five 'Pancha Sakhas' of Satyabadi namely Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Harihara, Nilakantha Das, Krupasindhu Mishra and Pandit Godabarisha. Having served as the Head of the Oriya department of Khallikote College, Berhampur, Chintamani Das was felicitated with the Sahitya Akademi Samman in 1970 for his outstanding contribution to Oriya literature in general and Satyabadi Yuga literature in particular. Some of his well-known literary creations are 'Bhala Manisha Hua', 'Manishi Nilakantha', 'Kabi Godabarisha', 'Byasakabi Fakiramohan', 'Usha', 'Barabati'.
20th century writers in Oriya include Pallikabi Nanda Kishore Bal (1875–1928), Gangadhar Meher (1862–1924), Chintamani Mahanti and Kuntala-Kumari Sabat Utkala-Bharati, besides Niladri Dasa and Gopabandhu Das (1877–1928). The most notable novelists were Umesa Sarakara, Divyasimha Panigrahi, Gopala Praharaja and Kalindi Charan Panigrahi. Sachi Kanta Rauta Ray is the great introducer of the ultra-modern style in modern Oriya poetry. Others who took up this form were Godabarisha Mohapatra, Mayadhara Manasimha, Nityananda Mahapatra and Kunjabihari Dasa. Prabhasa Chandra Satpathi is known for his translations of some western classics apart from Udayanatha Shadangi, Sunanda Kara and Surendranatha Dwivedi. Criticism, essays and history also became major lines of writing in the Oriya language. Esteemed writers in this field were Professor Girija Shankar Ray, Pandit Vinayaka Misra, Professor Gauri Kumara Brahma, Jagabandhu Simha and Harekrushna Mahatab. Oriya literature mirrors the industrious, peaceful and artistic image of the Oriya people who have offered and gifted much to the Indian civilization in the field of art and literature. Now Writers Manoj Das's creations motivated & inspired people towards a possitive lifestyle .Distinguished prose writers of the modern period include Fakir Mohan Senapati, Madhusudan Das, Godabarisha Mohapatra, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, Surendra Mohanty, Manoj Das, Kishori Charan Das, Gopinath Mohanty, Rabi Patnaik, Chandrasekhar Rath, Binapani Mohanty, Bhikari Rath, Jagadish Mohanty, Sarojini Sahoo, Yashodhara Mishra, Ramchandra Behera, Padmaja Pal. But it is poetry that makes modern Oriya literature a force to reckon with. Poets like Kabibar Radhanath Ray, Sachidananda Routray, Guruprasad Mohanty, Soubhagya Misra, Ramakanta Rath, Sitakanta Mohapatra, Rajendra Kishore Panda, Pratibha Satpathy have made significant contributions towards Indian poetry.
Anita Desai's novella, Translator Translated, from her collection The Art of Disappearance, features a translator of a fictive Oriyan short story writer; the novella contains a discussion of the perils of moving works composed in regional Indian languages into English.
- Languages of India
- Languages with official status in India
- List of Indian languages by total speakers
- Brahmic family of scripts
- Kalahandia Language
- Laxmi Puran
- Madala Panji
- Sambalpuri Language
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