About Saraiki (History and Language)Saraiki also spelled Siraiki and Seraiki, is a standardized written language belonging to the Indo-Aryan (Indic) language family. It is spoken by the Saraiki people in the Saraiki-speaking regions, also called as Saraikistan, in the heart of Pakistan. No mention of Saraiki as a unified identity is ever been made before the creation of Pakistan. Saraiki is based on a group of vernacular, historically unwritten dialects spoken by over 18 million people across the southern most half and the northwest of Punjab Province, southern districts of Dera Ismail Khan and Tank of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the adjacent border regions of the Sindh and Balochistan provinces, and nearly 70,000 migrants and their descendants in India, who migrated as a result of the partition of India, and about a million population of Pakistani and Indian diaspora in different parts of the world especially the Middle East. Saraiki is also spoken by some Hindus in Afghanistan, albeit the total number of speakers there is still unknown.
The development of the standard written language began after the founding of Pakistan in 1947, driven by a regionalist political movement.The national census of Pakistan has tabulated the prevalence of Saraiki speakers since 1981.Saraiki is the fourth most widely spoken language in Pakistan after Punjabi, Pashto, and Sindhi; and within Punjab Province it is one of the two major languages. Saraiki is ranked 52nd largest language of the world.
Seraiki (سرائیکی) has been variably called by different names such as Seraiki, Baluchki, Partake, Jagdali, Riasti, Bahawalpuri, Derewali, Multani, Western Punjabi, Lanhda, Uchi, Thallochi, Shahpuri and Hindko in past by neighboring people but thanks to the recent cultural awareness the name 'Seraiki' given by the Sindhi brothers, has been accepted and established universally beyond all doubts. In fact Seraiki language is spoken in substantially large area and the names given above are its different accents.
The main Seraiki speaking areas are Multan, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and most parts of Sargodha division. Seraiki is also spoken widely in Sind and Baluchistan provinces of Pakistan. It has many sweet dialects and is considered as the language of love.
Seraiki language is rich in vocabulary and contains many words for different objects like different words for domestic animals according to their age and condition, which cannot be alternatively used. Seraiki is rich in idioms, idiomatic phrases, lullabies, folk stories, folk songs and folk literature. The folk literature for children is also abundant.
The name "Saraiki" (or variant spellings) was formally adopted in the 1960s by regional social and political leaders who undertook to promote Saraiki ethnic consciousness and to develop the vernaculars into a standardized written language.Historically, the speakers of dialects now recognized as belonging to Saraiki did not hold the belief that they constituted a cohesive language community or a distinct ethnicity. This consciousness developed among local elites in the years after the founding of Pakistan in 1947 in response to the social and political upheaval caused by the mass immigration of Urdu speaking refugee Muslims from India. Traditionally, the dialects were designated by any of a number of areal or demographic names (see table below), e.g. "Multani" for the dialect spoken around Multan, which has been the largest city in the "Saraiki" speaking area for centuries.