Vajjika – Bajjika language

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Bajjika is a Bihari language which is spoken by millions of people living in Shivhar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, western part of Samastipur and Madhubani district of Bihar. It is the mother tongue of people residing in Sarlahi and Rotahat district of Nepal. Bajjika serves as the transition between Bhojpuri and Maithili in North-Western Bihar and terai belt of Nepal. The main city in the area is Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, Sitamarhi and Janakpur.

Origin

The language has its root in ancient time when Powerful Lichhavi and Vajji clan were ruling the republic of Vaishali during 6th century BC. Nearly 2500 years ago, the republic of Vaishali was ruled by Ashtkul (eight clans). They were- Lichhavi, Vajji, Gyatrik, Ugra, Bhog, Ikshwaku and Kaurav. Vajjis were the important clan and the language spoken by them became lingua-franca. The vocabulary of Vajjika or Bajjika have been enriched with Sanskrit and Prakrit. Bajjika has been classified under east Bihari language group falling under Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-Aryan languages.

Geographical Distribution

Bajjika language in India:
The distribution of Bajjika speaking people spreads mainly in north central part of Bihar. Approximately 11,500,000 people in the district of Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Shivhar, Sitamarhi, Samastipur and Madhubani speak Bajjika at their home. Those people who have migrated to other part of the country or elsewhere also spreak Bajjika as their mother tongue.
Bajjika language in Nepal:
It is also the main language in the adjoining terai regions of Nepal. According to the 2001 Census of Nepal, Bajjika is the mother tongue of 238,000 individuals, primarily in the Sarlahi and Rautahat district. This constitutes 1.05% of total population. The local language of historical and religious town of Janakpur is Bajjika.

Literature and Writers

Literary tradition in Bajjika is very old but nourishment has remained poor. Reference of early literature written by Gaydhar and Haldhar Das dates back to 10th & 15th century respectively. Three books viz. Mangniram ki Sakhi, Ramsagar Pothi and Anmol Ratan were written by Mangni Ram (circa 1815 AD). In recent years, several authors have shown their interest in Bajjika and many books were published. The Bajjika-Hindi Shabd Kosh (Bajjika-Hindi Dictionary) was compiled by Surendra Mohan Prasad. Renowned scholar and poet of Bajjika late Dr. (Prof.) Awadheshwar Arun wrote Bajjika Ramayan. Similarly, other scholars have enriched wealth of Bajjika both in this dialect as well as in Hindi.