Is Caribbean Hindustani a corrupted form of Hindi

Caribbean Hindustani and its variants; like Trinidad Bhojpuri, Sarnami and Guyanese Bhojpuri, have too often been a subject of much scrutiny. After indentureship and the independence of India. Khari Boli or Modern Standard Hindi (MSH) slowly replaced the older standards of Braj Bhasha and Awadhi. This all Hindustani was compared to this new standard.

Because Caribbean Hindustani was more a spoken Hindustani  it was deemed inferior to MSH. Further, because of the high degree of lexical similarities between the two languages in contrast with their grammatical differences, Caribbean Hindustani was seen as a “broken” or “corrupted” variety of MSH. However, Bhojpuri, which formed the critical mass of Caribbean Hindustani, is of much greater antiquity than MSH. Even the famous poet Kabirdas of the 15th century composed in Baranasi Boli, a variety of Bhojpuri.

Here is an example of a Caribbean Hindustani word that is quite popularly used in the Caribbean. “Tāwā” (a flat metal griddle used to make roti) is the word known by most of the descendants of the Indian indentured laborers’ descendants. However, when they attend Hindi classes and learn the MSH cognate, “tawā”, the impression is that the Indo-Caribbean version is a corrupted form.

Reference: Mohan, Peggy Ramesar; Trinidad Bhojpuri a Morphological Study; 1978

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By Caribbean Hindustani

Welcome to Caribbean Hindustani, a page dedicated to the promotion of the unique cultural identity of the descendents of Indian indentured laborers in the Caribbean. Caribbean Hindustani is the designation for any aspect of the culture of these descendents, be it; food, music, song & dance, dress, artisan skill, religion, philosophy and language. We hope that we create a global environment for the fostering and promotion of these. Please feel free to browse, comment and post relevant information that will help achieve our mission and realize our vision.

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