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Don Bosco Releases socio-cultural tribal magazine

By C.M. Paul
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Shillong, Nov. 15. Agartala: The Don Bosco Group's Social Communication chief from Rome released a monthly socio-cultural magazine to promote a tribal language in northeastern state of Tripura. General Councilor for Social Communications of Don Bosco Society, Rome, Filberto Gonzalez also felicitated Sampari Pictures - the only Don Bosco film production company registered under Eastern India Motion Picture Association- yesterday.
The felicitation marked 15 years of film making in the state.

The pilot issue of the 32-page literary magazine, Aitorma (Morning Star), is initially targeting some 40,000 readers of Kokborok language, which has over one million speakers in Tripura and in parts of adjoining Bangladesh.

''It is beautiful when we are passionate about culture of people because culture lies in the heart and is the sum total of what we are,'' said Gonzalez.

The magazine's editor Binod Debbarma said that there is not even a single regular publication in Kokborok language that has the common man in mind. ''Aitorma is our effort to address this acutely felt lacunae among Kokborok speakers,'' Debbarma said.

Magazine publisher Salesian Father Benny Moshahary is hopeful and optimistic that the venture will prove to be ''a rallying point'' for the language and its practitioners.

Kokborok film director Salesian Fr. Joseph Pulinthanath said that ''like our films, our publications too are centered on our people and their stories. This is what, we believe, give these products a character and relevance.''

D. M. Jamatia, secretary of law in the state government, said that after making a mark in filmmaking in the state, Don Bosco has now started a magazine.''I am sure this initiative too will definitely contribute to the development of Kokborok language and its people,'' he added.

Twenty years of Don Bosco's presence in the state is marked by some significant ventures in promoting the language, including production of mainstream cinema.

Besides writers and members of Sampari Pictures, the function was attended by luminaries of Kokborok culture from various parts of the state.

Over the last 15 years, Sampari Pictures produced 17 major film projects including documentaries and two award winning full length feature films (Mathia [Bangle] & Yarwng [Roots] ) in the tribal language.
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