Translating Our Kingdom of Heaven

Omila Thounaojam *


High culture and low culture must be merged and clear divides between the classic and the contemporary or popular culture must be diluted so that the preconceived notion of IT'S TOO DIFFICULT gets to be revised...

Bridges are built every now and then. No one could claim How it does the task of BRIDGING the gaps, connecting one and all and above all, being a PATHWAY that leads to a purposeful destination.

You and I in this beautiful world are destined to be sole possessor of duties towards oneself and towards others who are dwellers of the society and culture one belongs to.

We want our ways to be smooth and comfortable but then reality bites most of the time and here we are, literally and imaginatively stuck in an in-between highway of life and its crude realities.

Both powerful and powerless fail to create a highway so far that could generate a sense of Cultural Revolution taking place through it.

It's unfortunate that those who understand the Power of building a CULTURAL BRIDGE are never counted as credential people in the society and as an outcome what surfaces out of such a scenario is our HOMELAND never been translated fair enough and the world living still ignorant even about the existence of this KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

Day in and day out, ideas most basic and the products they endorse sale with the click of a button, thousands get to know a little girl holding a candy with less or minimal effort and see the irony or I must say the tragedy of modern time, we stay invisible waiting in the line for our legitimate turn to be visible.

Even Absurd theatre must utilize us as their subject matter and who knows a better WAITING FOR GODOT may materialize. It's not an affair that's so de-motivating but yes, it's a concern that should, at the most must make us disturb and wake us up from the kind of self-imposed lethargy we live with.

Many may claim themselves unfit for this project of translating OUR HOME and ITS CULTURE but what's there if we try hard and see whether we get something out or nothing at all. At least, something is always better than nothing and little efforts from each may be the right beginning for the aspired cultural make over we dream for.

One of the most scintillating dimensions through which we could achieve much in terms of bringing the most desired form of CULTURAL REVIVALISM in our land is through promoting the art of TRANSLATION.

Translation if allowed to be the practical medium for us may certainly be the BRIDGE that could connect our world with the rest through the channel of language. Whether it is subject matters related to the fields of science or arts, usage of language to make our rich cultural heritage known to the world may prove beneficial for us.

Translation of existing written works from Manipuri to English and vice versa or from other regional or foreign languages to Manipuri and again, vice versa may certainly make us feel more enhanced and well-informed. Considering the level of competition and the craze for advanced knowledge every developed nation is running after these days, we are nowhere near.

As such, the beauty of our dynamic cultural fabrics must be expressed through translation and cultural gaps must be bridged in by utilizing the multiple linguistic skills our youths possessed today.

High culture and low culture must be merged and clear divides between the classic and the contemporary or popular culture must be diluted so that the preconceived notion of IT'S TOO DIFFICULT gets to be revised and an alternative creative mindset is constructed.

The dynamism of the power of language must be acknowledged so that this time, through this construction of a LINGUISTIC CULTURAL BRIDGE, we may certainly succeed in redefining our place and space before a global audience.

This way, self-representing ourselves before the world in the most fulfilling fashion could be done and hence, OUR KINGDOM OF HEAVEN finds the most deserving form of transmission of its core values through the art of TRANSLATION.

* Omila Thounaojam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
The writer is a Research Scholar, Assam University (Silchar)
This article was posted on September 08, 2012.

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