The Zou Script

– Khai Minthang

Quite ridiculous, yet the late Rev. Khup Za Go said “The Zo script was eaten up by a hungry dog” in his book entitled Christianity in Chindland. More pitifully, nobody was able to write the alphabet again after the hungry dog ate up the script!!! The story goes such that the only script we have was written on a piece of animal skin and there was only one person taking care of it. Apparently, it was just a script and the person who was taking care of it might not be able to put them together and inscribe them somewhere to make history. This is absurd and we never know the fact. The story continues that the person who took care of the script traveled to another place on foot, with his dog. It apparently was a hot and sunny day. He passed by a creek and stripped off his load and went down to the creek to get a sip of it. Then, the saddest story ever told happened there – The script was eaten up by his hungry dog.

We never know what it would have looked like. Presumably, it could have looked like a Chinese script or some Oriental scripts, but we never know if we did really have a script. If we did, it is appropriate and believable that it should have been written somewhere inside or outside the caves, stones, trees, monuments, etc. We don’t have to rely completely on oral tradition. The fact that we relied on oral tradition obviously testified that we don’t have a script before or have had one before and the spirit of barbarism invaded us and we lost our script and history entirely. The Pau Cin Hau script is full of absurd alphabets and lacks decency and appropriate transliteration. The script would not even be 200 years old. The Zou script that we tried to patronize now is nothing more than Pau Cin Hau’s script, that lacks age-long written records and using this would mean using a language spoken by a handful of people, in the grand scale. And, it would be so hard to take advantage of the new revolution of the Information Technology unless we can put our script on every keyboard of every computer!!!

The second phase or the present script was presented by the late Rev. Cope of the American Baptist Mission in 1910. This script was adopted from the Roman script. Therefore, we have a script since then. It’s been just a century since we have a script. Few people tried to modify the script for more functional and appropriate pronunciation, but could not come out with a comprehensible solution. Thus, this is an ongoing process. Every tribe and dialect are modifying to fit into the present market – multiplying vocabulary by adding vowels, consonants and even semi-vowels to it. Now, some people even use asterisks, hyphens, dashes, curves, etc. All these made our script more unpalatable and uncomfortable to read and write. I am not talking about the punctuation marks, which are mandatory.

Our script has a history of just 98 years, but our literature (all the customized Roman scripts) has pretty good volumes. It might not seemed unusual if a good number of people could not read and write the script that was invented 98 years ago given the fact that a good many people could not read and write some scripts that were invented over 5,000 years ago. Nevertheless, it is quite shameful for us not to be able to read and write our script when the world is becoming a global village or info-tech world.



About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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