The National Seminar on the “Recovery of Lepcha Language, Literature Culture and History” held on18 July 2016 on the occasion of the 191st Birth Anniversary Celebration of Thikoong General G.B.Mainwaring, the Champion of Lepchas.
The National Seminar was held at Poloongdaong below Sukhia Pokhari, Darjeeling.
To remember and celebrate Thikoong Mainwaring’s life and work many Lepchas and their well wishers and supporters from far and wide assembled at Poloongdaong where he spent many years among his Lepchas in 1860s and 70s. Two English ladies, Renyoo Carolyn Way and Renyoo Marilyn McCoull representing Ren Michael Way of M. Charitable Trust, UK joined the Lepchas to celebrate the anniversary of one of their fellow countrymen, the General G.B.Mainwaring.
The following books were released on the day:
a. “Thikoong General G.B.Mainwaring, the Champion of Lepchas and the National Seminar on the Recovery of Lepcha Language, Literature, Culture and History, 2016”.
b. “Mahasweta Devi and Her Ten Short Stories” – a translation work from Bengali into Lepcha by Ren Dup Shuzong Lepcha and Ren Dr D.C.Roy.
c. “Lepcha Drama’’. A translation work from Lepcha into Bengali by Ren Dr D.C.Roy and Ren Dup Shuzong Lepcha.
d. “Learn to speak Lepcha” by Renyoo Martha Lepcha. Second Edition 2016.
Padmashree Sonam Tshering Lepcah was presented a cheque of Rs.2 (two) Lakhs for conserving and expanding the artifacts of the Lepcha Museum, by the Board.
The following distinguished scholars, linguists, naturalists, historians, theologists, poets presented their papers:
a. The Lepcha-Latin nexus in Linnaean Taxonomy – Ren Saibal Sengupta
b. Lepcha Oral Narratives: Visiting Aathing K. P. Tamsang’s Collections of Folktales – Ren Professor Prakash C. Pattanaik
c. Locating ‘History’: ‘Mayel Lyang’ as the site of ‘Indigeneity’ of the Lepcha community in Darjeeling Hills – Dr Nandini Bhattacharya Panda
d. “Two great Lepcha literary figures : Thekoong General George Byres Mainwaring and Athing Kharpo Tamsang (Lepcha) Introduction’’ – Ren Denis Lepcha
e. “Revival of Tribal Literature: A Case of Postcolonial Drama in the Neo-Colonial state of the Lepchas of West Bengal’’ – Debangana Roy and Ren Dr. D.C.Roy.
f. The Recovery of Lepcha Language, Culture and History based on my experience with the Lepchas – Renyoo Marilyn McCoull, England
g. Letter to the Chairman, Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board
– Professor Chittaranjan Panda
h. “The Lepcha Language and Religion: A Search for Salvation by General G.B. Mainwaring” – Rev. Fr. Peter Lingdamo
i. The State and the Peripheral Identity – Ren Dr T. K Das
j. The Lepcha Leaders – Renyoo Carolyn Way, England.
k. Language is sovereignty and power – Ms Ahona Panda, Kolkata.
l. WBMLLDB and its development work – Ren G. Namchu.
m. Unique Lepcha Naming System – Dr Ratnottama Das, Delhi University
n. Sanskrit Remnants in the Lepcha Language – Professor Suhrid Bhowmik, Vidhyasagar University.
The Day ended with a colorful cultural programme.