Guren Osay: The bellwether to promote Burusho Heritage

By Neelam Wali

Guren Osay is an organization established to promote the culture and art of Brushos of Gilgit-Baltistan. The core objective of organizing this is to instil in the young generation the importance of their dwindling native cultural values. This would help in preservation of their indigenous culture and language. 

Under Guren Osay, events are held to encourage youth in participating in activities like career counseling, book reviews, admissions guidance, thematic hikes and much more—this apart from annual cultural events. 

Burushaski language is spoken in Yasin, Nagar and Hunza in GB. Around 150,000 people are believed to be speaking this language. Having said so, this language is considered as an endangered by various linguistic research institutions. Therefore, Guren Osay team has initiated an vital effort to reunite the speakers and encourage the research and development of this language amidst the sad demise of the great Burushaski poet and researcher Basharat Shafi(late) who had put in his indefatigable effort to enriching and reviving this vulnerable language. In fact, the phrase ‘Guren Osay’ is taken from one of the verses of his poetry which literally means ‘ to take care’ . The core aim of this organization is to preserve the language in various linguistic dimensions and promote the indigenous culture and art. This organization has already accomplished many projects in current past in collaboration with Lok Virsa to engage the Burushaski speakers across the country. Also, it has successfully organized three seasons of the annual event along with various thematic activities promoting this language. 

The purpose of Guren Osay’s third season was to arrange a cultural event for the people of GB and Chitral. Recently, in the third mega event held in Lok Virsa heritage Museum, youth proactively participated and performed Burushaski theatre, Burushaski Mushaira, Musical performances, documentaries, comic etc. At the end of the event, the token and appreciation awards were also distributed among the participants. Among award holders was a Burushaski poet named as Sher Nadir Shahi.”Basharat Shafi” Award was given to Sher Nadir Shahi.
This third mega event was appreciable and such events must continue to preserve our languages that are on the verge of extinction.

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