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Khasi language


Khasi is an Austroasiatic language spoken primarily in Meghalaya state in India by the Khasi people. Khasi is part of the Austroasiatic language family, and is fairly closely related to the Munda branch of that family, which is spoken in east–central India. Although most of the 865,000 Khasi speakers are found in Meghalaya state, the language is also spoken by a number of people in the hill districts of Assam bordering with Meghalaya and by a sizable population of people living in Bangladesh. Dialects Khasi has significant dialectal variation. Several dialects have only partial mutual intelligibility, and Bhoi and Nonglung are distinct enough to be sometimes considered separate languages. Other dialects are Cherrapunji (Sohra), Khynriam, and War (not the same as the related War language); Cherrapunji and War are 75% similar lexically. Cherrapunji is standard. Scripts In the past, the Khasi language had no script of its own. William Carey attempted to write the language with the Assamese script between 1813 and 1838. A large number of Khasi books were written in the Assamese script, including the famous book Ka Niyiom Jong Ka Khasi or The Rule of the Khasis, which is an important manuscript of the Khasi religion. The Welshmissionary, Thomas Jones, in 1841 wrote the language in the Latin script. As a result, the Latin alphabet of the language has a few similarities with the Welsh alphabet. The first journal in Khasi was UNongkit Khubor (The Messenger) published at Mawphlang in 1889 by William Williams. Culture The word culture is derived from the Latin root cultura or cultus meaning to "inhabit, cultivate, or honour". In general, culture refers to human activity; different definitions of culture reflect different theories for understanding, or criteria for valuing human activity. Present day Anthropologists use the term to refer to the universal human capacity to classify experiences and to encode and communicate them symbolically. They regard this capacity as a defining feature of the genus Homo. Since culture is learned, people living in different places have different cultures. There can be different cultures in different countries, and there can also be shared cultures among continents.