Many of the Baloch citizens in Iran do not speak in Balochi at home with their children. What are their reasons/excuses and why they weaken their mother tongue? The response comes in the upcoming lines.
These Baloch families belong to both educated and uneducated classes. They count some reasons for this attitude: 1. to speak Persian fluently without Balochi dialect. 2. Better understanding of Persian for children. 3. It is essential to speak Persian in official departments, hospitals, universities and etc. 4. The effects of the social atmosphere, TV channels and internet. 5. Less usage of Balochi language. 6. Feeling shy to speak Balochi in schools and universities. 7. Absence of an official dialect of Balochi, acceptable for all.
I’d like to present my article on the importance of Balochi language among Iranian Baloch families who prefer to speak Persian at home.
Language is a part of the identity of any nation. Thus it should be protected and shifted to the upcoming generations. I belong to Sarakhs town of Khorasan and speak Balochi. When I moved to Zahedan for higher education, I was astonished seeing the Baloch students and many families who neglect their mother tongue.
Regardless to the rationality or irrationality of the motives of such families, this tendency uproots the importance of Balochi language among their children. I disagree with their viewpoint and reasons for speaking Persian at home. I interviewed some youth who have grown up in such families. They were not fluent in speaking. They had a problem with the specific alphabets of Balochi such as T and D (ڈ، ٹ). The atmosphere of society and cyber space can be handled by speaking Balochi, reading and boosting Balochi websites and Balochi programs in local TV channels. Balochi is not as restricted as we think; it is common in the south-eastern Iran, Golestan, southern Khorasan, some parts of Kerman and Hormozgan and most villages of Sarakhs city. Feeling shy is the sign of the lack of confidence. By studying the history of Balochi, this phenomenon can be controlled. The diversity in Balochi is only in accent and pronunciation not language. Some students who learnt Persian from their parents at home were unhappy with what had happened with them. It caused problems for them in their speaking of Balochi. Even after marriage, their spouses wanted them to speak Balochi, but they cannot.
That is why; Baloch families should notice the importance of Balochi language in Sistan-Baluchistan and work hard to protect this language in all places. For learning Persian, the best time and place is school.
By Nasser Yar-Mohammadi
(The article was presented in the convocation of ‘Studies on Sistan-Baluchistan; Education, Culture and Literature’ held in English language in Islamic Azad University of Saravan, Baluchistan, Iran)
Translated into English by: Abdul-Hakeem Shahbakhsh