Karachi, September 05: “Folktales in the Shina of Gilgit” is name of the book that has created quite a stir in the Shina speaking and understanding circles of Gilgit – Baltistan. The book has been coauthored by Karla F. Rudolph and Shakeel Ahmad Shakeel. Samar Institute of Linguistics and National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaide-e-Azam University, have jointly published the book.
It is one of the six books written by Shakeel, some of them coauthored. Some of the books include Dadi Shulukay, Alkhan Basharon, Gilgiti – Shina may Parhna Likhna : Aik Taaruf and Shina – Urdu – Angrezi Bol Chal.
Shakeel is the man behind “Shina Language and Culture Promotion Society”, which he founded in 1998. This society has been helping promotion and modernization of the language to a great extent. Shina is one of the largest languages spoken in Gilgit – Baltistan. There are different versions of Shina language and Shakeel’s focus seems to be on the Shina spoken in Gilgit. Shina in Astore, Diamir, Punial – Ishkoman and Shinaki (lower Hunza) are spoken in varying accents and have slightly varying vocabulary.
The efforts of Shakeel have helped modernize Shina language, while introducing it to a wider audience, globally. These efforts, coupled with earlier individual and institutional efforts, affirm a brighter future for Shina language.