Socio-Linguistic and Cultural Study of Dhatki Language in Sur Maaree
Dhat or Dhaat is the central part of Thar. Its language is Dhatki and its inhabitants are called Dhaati. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai visited Dhat/ Dhaat (Thar) several times. He observed the culture, language(s), and other aspects of social life of the native people. Dhat/ Dhaat is a neighbouring area surrounded by Marwar (Rajistan), Kathiawar, Kutch, Laar, and Naaro. From G. A. Grierson to Dr. Abdul Jabbar Junejo and Hidayat Prem, including Kako Bheeroo Mal Mehrchand Aadvani and Dr. N. A. Baloch, anonymously agree that Dhatki is not an independent language. They are of the view that, Dhatki is a mixture or dialect of Sindhi Language or is a sub-dialect of Thari dialect of Sindhi. It is not proved decisively if it is a language, dialect or sub-dialect, and therefore needs centensive research. Shah Latif heard folk literature, especially folk tales in their native language, Dhatki. He was inspired and impressed by all facets and borrowed various folk tales from this region, to compose poetry based on those tales. In his Risalo’s Surs, fifteen surs have direct or indirect connection with this region. Like a genius artist, he used a kind of language in cultural background related to characters of Dhat/ Dhaat (Thar). He used Dhatki language frequently in all surs of his poetry. This research paper is confined to the Sur Maaree, which purely belongs to the area of Thar.