We Odiyas take immense pride in our very own mother tongue, Odia which today completes three whole years since it was declared as a classical language on 2oth February 2014. It is only the sixth Indian language to get such prestigious tag after Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. So, today on completion of three years of getting the prestigious tag of ‘Classical Language’, We bring you forth how the Odia language came into existence and the way it has evolved since then.
1. The contemporary version of Oriya language is the result of the evolution of a speech style of Old Indo-Aryan language.
2.The stone inscription of Ananta Varma Bajrahasta Deva dating back to 1051 AD is considered as the first manifestation of Oriya script and language.
The Story of Evolution, Existence and Excellence
3. Odia language has sailed through five eras namely- Old Odia Era (7th to 12th century), Early Middle Oriya (1300-1500), Middle Oriya (1500-1700), Late Middle Oriya (1700-1850) and Modern Oriya (1850 till present day).
4. The curved appearance of the Oriya script is a result of the practice of writing on palm leaves, which have a tendency to tear if you use too many straight lines.
5.Poetry came in first in Oriya language way before prose and essays which developed quite late.
6. The first Oriya printing typeset was cast up fully functionally in 1836 by Christian Missionaries.
7.Starting from the year 1811 till 2012, there has been a record of 364 Odia dictionaries of different categories.
The Present Day Scenario
8. Nationally, Odia speaking people form about 3.2% of the total population and globally they accounts to about 45 million.
9. Odia is widely spoken in Jharkhand, so much so that it has been adopted as one of its official languages since 2011.
10. There are nine siblings of the widely used style of Odia, i.e. Kataki Odia which have acquired their names as per the areas in which they are used. For instance, Midnapori Odia in Midnapore and the list goes on similar lines as, Singhbhumi, Baleswari, Ganjami, Sambalpuri, Desiya, Bhatri, Halbi and Phulbani.
11. The initial name of Oriya was officially changed to Odia following Presidential assent on 4th November 2011 to the bill passed by Parliament and issuance of a notification.
12. On 20th February 2014 Odia became the sixth language of the country to get “classical language’’ status after the Union Cabinet conceded a long-pending demand for putting it in the same league as Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. It attained the status on the basis of having a long literary history and not having borrowed extensively from other languages.
Odia is a sweet language which tastes best when told with an open heart, a positive outlook and of course a smile on your face! So do all other languages of the world too!