May 07, 2024

UNPO hosts Baluch Community Meeting in Stockholm

Stockholm, [27/04/2024] - The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is proud to announce the successful organization of a significant community meeting for the diaspora Baluch community in Stockholm on April 27 for  the launch of the new Branz Baluch online cultural magazine

Bránz is a collaborative project of the Iranian Baluch community, aiming to protect and promote the use of Baluchi language through publishing monthly articles covering a range of social, literary, and cultural topics.

Bránz literary and cultural magazine was established in 2021. Currently the website contains 140 articles, stories and opinion pieces. Each month 5 articles are published in three languages; Baluch, Farsi and English. While the previous version of the website contained articles in different Baluch dialects, the current website will be updated to include articles in standarized Baluch by Uppsala University.

The website and its new features were presented to the audience by Malek Zeynoldini, the Bránz editor. The gathering created an opportunity to share the new and improved version of Bránz with the community. The new website also contains resources for learning Baluchi language such as dictionaries and books which are accessible to all the interested individuals.  The community meeting served as a platform for over a dozen Baluch community members to convene and engage in constructive dialogue. 

This collaboration between the University of Uppsala’s Baluchi Language Project, this website and the community collaboration behind it, is aimed to support the Iranian Baluchi community to use their own language. As the website develops, more and more resources will be added to allow people to learn and use Baluchi in their everyday lives.

In addition to community members, the gathering brought together esteemed individuals including academics, researchers, and authors. Notable figures in attendance included Professor Carina Jahani, from Uppsala University and the creator of Uppsala University Baloch program and Taj Baluch, a respected voice within the Baluch community. The event also featured the participation of a renowned Baluch author and poet Aziz Dadyar.

Professor Carina Jahani stated the following regarding the current status of the use of Baluchi language in Iran and Pakistan: ¨Due to the lack of necessary facilities and infrastructure for education in Balochistan, families are compelled to replace their mother tongue with another language for their children, solely hoping for their future academic and professional success. Some individuals consider the Baluchi language as a backward language and ridicule its speakers, causing children to feel ashamed of speaking their mother tongue at school. If this trend continues, nothing of its identity and authenticity will remain for future generations except the name Baluch¨.

Taj Baloch, the Baluch poet, author and creator of the latin text of Baluchi stated: ¨Dictatorial regimes deal a blow to the roots of languages existing in the geographical regions of Iran and Pakistan by prohibiting teaching in mother tongues and promoting monolingualism. By branding legitimate demands for education in mother tongues as separatism they perpetrate crimes against indigenous languages and resist the desires of non-Persian and non-Punjabi peoples for education in their mother tongues. The regimes of Iran and Pakistan aim to assimilate and destroy the culture, language, and customs of the Baluch people, pursuing fascist agendas and violating international laws in their attempt to eradicate the identity of the people of Balochistan.¨ 

The meeting provided a forum for participants to exchange ideas, share experiences, and explore avenues for collaboration. UNPO commends the Baluch community for their active participation and engagement during the gathering. 

The launch of the Bránz Baluch online magazine represents an exciting development in the dissemination of Baloch culture, perspectives, and narratives. UNPO congratulates the creators and contributors of the magazine on this milestone achievement and looks forward to its continued success in promoting Baluch culture, history, literature and the  use of  standard Baluch in everyday life.