Recognition of Zomi language
Zomi community in Australia originates from Chin state in Myanmar. They arrive in Australia as refugees. The community fled their beloved country for fear of severe military persecution. They are victims of physical and mental abuses by the military government in Myanmar.
[Australia a om Zomite pen Chin State Myanmar pan hong kipankhia hi. Amaute pen Australiaah refugee hihna tawh hong tung uh hi. Hih minamte’n galkapte bawlsiat behlap ding lauhna tawh a it a gamlei uh taikhiatsan uh hi. Amaute penKawlgam galkap kumpite’n pumpi leh lungsim susia thei zah dong ding a a bawlsiatna a thuakte ahi uh hi.]
Burmese armies are very disrespectful to Zomi community. They have very less regard for our welfare. They behave indecently in public places especially in the presence of females. They are abusive to males. They often disrupted our church services and made fun of our religion. They would often be heavily intoxicated and pull out churchgoers who would be victims of their genocide and serious human rights violations.
[Kawlgam galkapte pen Zomite simmawh bawl mahmah uh hi. Ka minam uh ading a hoih deihna nei vetlo uh hi. Mipi omna lak a diakin numeite mai khawngah a kilawmlopipi in gamta sese uh hi. Pasalte lah bawlsiat cihtak bawlsia uh hi. Biakpiak kikhopna tamveipi tak hong buaisak uh a, ka biakna uh hong simmawhbawlsak uh hi. Zu nakpi tak a khamin biakinn a kikhawmlai mite bawlsiat cihtak a bawlsia dinginkaikhia thei uh hi.]
Zomi community called ourselves “Zomi” and speaks “Zomi” since time immemorial. We are known by different names. The Burmese government would not recognise our language as Zomi. There is not much we could do about it. Zomi community across Australia came together in May 2012 at the Myanmar embassy, Canberra to protest against the non-recognition of Zomi. (video link: https://youtu.be/0JPIPzGVA-c
[A kipat cil a kipatin Zomite pen “Zomi” ka kic uh a, “Zomi” pau in ka pau uh hi. Mite’n bel hong theihna uh min tuamtuam om hi. Kawlgam kumpi in ka pau uh pen Zomi in hong sansak utlo se uh hi. Ka hih theih uh lah om lo hi. May 2012 in Australia mun tuamtuam a om Zomite Myanmar embassy, Canberra ah kikaikhawmin lungphona kinei hi: https://youtu.be/0JPIPzGVA-c ]
Now that we belong to Australia – a free country where the rule of law is uphold, where our rights and voices are heard. In 2016 Australian census, Zomi community members have made ourselves clear by declaring that we are known as Zomi and we speak Zomi.
[Tu-in Australia ah omin – hih gam pen a suakta gam dan leh thupiakte a kizahtaakna mun hi a, ka rights uh leh ka kikonate uh hong kizakna mun hi. Kum 2016 Australia milip simnaah, Zomite’n kiciantakin Zomi minam a kiciamteh in Zomi kampau ka hih na uh leh ka deihna uh kong pulak ta uh hi.]
Hence, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 language classification ZOMI was added as language spoken at home link: Language Spoken at Home
The 1267.0 – Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2016 added ZOMI as non-indigenous languages. Zomi (6105) has been added to Narrow Group 61 Burmese and Related Languages. link: Australian Standard Classification of Languages
[Kum 2016 census khit ciangin ZOMI pen non-indigenous language sungah kikhum khin zo hi]
According to Population Diversity in Victoria: 2016 Census Local Government Areas which refers to 2016 Australian census, Zomi language ranked 81 in the top 100 languages other than English Spoken at Home. link: Population Diversity in Victoria: 2016 Census
Recently, TIS National and NAATI has taken out Zomi language from their list of languages. Now, Zomi community who call themselves and wanted to be called and recognised themselves as speaking Zomi language do not have access to interpreters through TIS National an Australian government agency as ZOMI. TIS National considers Zomi equivalent to Tedim Chin and hence removes Zomi. Zomi community do not call ourselves Tedim Chin.
[Nung diakin, TIS National leh NAATI in Zomi kampau pen kampau a gualhna uh pan lakhia uh hi. Tua ahih manin, Zomite in amau le amau Zomi ci a kiciamtehsak ding a deih leh Zomi kampau zang a kiciamtehsak ding a deihte inAustralia kumpi nuaia TIS National tungtawn in Zomi kampau tawh kamphen kingen theilo hi. TIS National in Zomi pen Tedim Chin tawh kibang hi ciin Zomi lakhia uh hi. Zomite pen Tedim Chin kici lo hi ung.]
The Zomi community in Australia, therefore, request all concerned persons, agencies and all organisations to hear our voices, respect our sentiments and uphold our true identity.
[Australia a om Zomite’n a kisaipih mimal ahi zong, kipawlna tuamtuamte tungah kong ngen nop uh pen ka aw uh hong ngai-in, na lunghihmawhnate uh hong zahtaksak banah ka hihna diktak uh tawh ding thei dingin tha hong pia un.]
Letmat thuhnading: Recognition of Zomi Language
I implore you to please recognise and officially record the name of our community as Zomi and the language we speak as Zomi.
[Hehpihna tawh ka minam min uh Zomi in hong ciaptehsak un la, ka kampau zat uh Zomi in hong ciaptehsak un.]
Thank you in anticipation.
[Lametna lianpi tawh lungdam hong ko khol ung.]