The Seraiki people (also Saraiki people) are an ethnic group from the south-western areas of Pakistani Punjab. There is less dispute over whether the Seraiki language is a separate language or a Punjabi dialect.
The Seraikis are based in the former Princely state of Bahawalpur, Multan, Lodhran, Khanewal, Rajanpur, D G Khan, MuzafarGarh, Layah, Bhakkar, Mianwali, D I Khan, Khushab,Sargodha and Jhang, though they live in surrounding areas of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and North West Frontier Province. The Serakis maintain that they have a separate language and culture, whilst some Punjabis view Seraiki as merely a dialect of Punjabi.
A Seraiki campaign grew in the 1960’s with the aims of establishing language rights and stopping what was seen as exploitation and repression by the traditionally Punjabi dominated government. Seraiki land has always been very fertile, producing much of Pakistan’s wheat and cotton. However little money has been invested back, thus leading to impoverishment and underdevelopment.
The campaign continued on into the 1970’s, by which time political activists had drawn up a map of a proposed Seraikistan region, including most of southern Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan in the North West Frontier Province (note that this excluded Sindhi and Baloch areas, possibly because of strong nationalist movements in those regions).
General Zia died in a plane crash in 1988 and the Seraiki movement re-emerged. By now the aims were to have a Seraiki nationality recognised, to have official documents printed in Seraiki, a Seraiki regiment in the army, employment quotas and more Seraiki language radio and television.The Seraiki movement has suffered from being Punjab-based in a country in which Punjabis dominate the army and government (REFERENCES????).
In 1993 moves were made to settle Biharis (Indian Muslims who had moved to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) in Seraiki areas. This was resisted by the Seraikis and the plan was eventually shelved. Seraikies claim that they are not merely an ethnic group but a nation.
Siraiki (also known as Seraiki, Multani and Western Punjabi) is a language or dialect mostly spoken in the provinces of Sindh and the Punjab in central Pakistan by about 14,000,000 people, as well as by about 20,000 people in India, and an immigrant population in the United Kingdom.
Siraiki is widely spoken and understood as a second language in northern and western Sindh down to the suburbs of Karachi and in the Kachhi plain of Balochistan. It is also known as Derawali in Derajat area.
Siraiki has three short vowels, seven long vowels and six nasal vowels.
|Stop||Voiceless||p pʰ||t̪ t̪ʰ||t tʰ||k kʰ||ʔ|
|Voiced||b bʰ||d̪ d̪ʰ||d dʰ||ɡ ɡʰ|
|Nasal||m mʰ||n nʰ||ɳ||ɲ||ŋ|
- Ahsan, Wagha (1990). The Siraiki Language: Its Growth and Development. Islamabad: Dderawar Publications.
- Gardezi, Hassan N. (1996). Siraiki Language and its poetics: An Introduction. London: Sangat Publishers.
- Shackle, Christopher (1976). The Siraiki Language of Central Pakistan: A Reference Grammar. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.
- Shackle, Christopher (1977). "Siariki: A Language Movement in Pakistan”. Modern Asian Studies 11 (3): 279–403.
The following is the entry for this language as it appeared in the 14th edition (2000).
It has been superseded by the corresponding entry in the 15th edition (2005).
SIL code: SKR
ISO 639-2: inc
|Population||15,000,000 to 30,000,000 in Pakistan (1998), 9.8% of the population. Population total all countries 15,059,000 to 30,000,000.|
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We are working to add Seraiki Music section on the website so you will be able to listen to Seraiki music. The complete poetry of Khaja Ghulam Farid is also being uploaded to the website. Please let us know your suggestions in
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