Bhasha Van

An outdoor extension of the Vaacha Museum is Bhasha Van, literally meaning ‘a forest of languages’ and created to provide a real-time experience of India’s linguistic diversity. The idea of Bhasha Van emerged from The Peoples Linguistic Survey of India, a nationwide survey on existing languages carried by Bhasha Centre across India, to seek answer to the question 'How many living languages does India have?' The survey, being published in 50 volumes, presents 780 living Indian languages.

Still in the making, Bhasha Van is envisioned as a metaphorical forest, representative of both the diversity of flora and languages of our country. Since language is oral before it is written, Bhasha Van takes the visitor through the physical area of the Van while moving aurally through the tales of its linguistic traditions.

As visitors wander through the walkway of trees, they are provided with audio guides/tablets containing conversations, stories, songs, tales, music and jokes in the languages they choose. Some of these trees are hung with plaques on which tri-lingual information about little known languages are presented. Soon, visitors will be able to read and hear these on their cellphones.

There are rest-stops designed within the Van space to allow visitors to rest their feet and engage with interactive displays on language families, Scheduled Languages, Non-Scheduled languages and even contribute narratives in their own mother tongues.

Folk art, in the form of paintings, pottery and wood work installed at various locations forms an integral part of this the Van. Located outside the the Vaacha Museum of Voice, Bhasha Van as a thriving forest of linguistic diversity complements the diversity of living traditions and material cultures housed within the Museum building.

Presently, there are 80 recordings available to visitors; more language recordings bearing information on languages, their songs, tales, music and jokes are being added gradually.