Gurmukhi Script #35/100: A Journey Through 100 Writing Systems of the World

The Resplendent Gurmukhi Script: Unraveling the Sacred Language of the Sikhs

Gurmukhi script character chart

Script type: The Gurmukhi script is an abugida, where each character represents a consonant with an inherent vowel sound that can be modified with diacritics for other vowel sounds.

Writing direction: The Gurmukhi script is written from left to right, following the standard direction of many modern scripts.

Creator and invention time: The Gurmukhi script was created by Guru Angad Dev Ji, the second Guru of Sikhism, in the 16th century. It was designed as a medium to transcribe the teachings and hymns of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism.

Time period of use: The Gurmukhi script has been in continuous use since its inception in the 16th century and continues to be the primary script for writing Punjabi, the language of the Sikhs.

Population and current usage: The Gurmukhi script is actively used by over 100 million Sikhs worldwide and is the official script of the Indian state of Punjab. It is also used by Punjabi-speaking communities in India, Pakistan, and other parts of the world.

Languages associated with the script: The Gurmukhi script is closely associated with the Punjabi language, a rich and vibrant Indo-Aryan language spoken by millions of people in South Asia and around the globe. It is also used to write other languages of the region, such as Sindhi, Dogri, and Lahnda.

Interesting Facts:

  1. The term "Gurmukhi" translates to "from the mouth of the Guru" in Punjabi, signifying its divine origin and association with Guru Angad Dev Ji.
  2. The Gurmukhi script was instrumental in preserving and propagating the Sikh religious teachings, including the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, which is written entirely in Gurmukhi.
  3. Guru Angad Dev Ji modified the existing script of Punjabi, which was known as the "Landa" script, to create Gurmukhi, thus establishing a unique writing system for the Sikh community.
  4. The Gurmukhi script is distinguished by its angular and symmetrical characters, which give it a striking appearance and ease of readability.
  5. Gurmukhi calligraphy is a revered art form in Sikh culture, with its elegant strokes and flowing patterns adding an aesthetic dimension to religious texts and manuscripts.
  6. With the advent of printing technology in the 19th century, Gurmukhi literature experienced a surge in publication, further popularizing the script and making Sikh scriptures more accessible to the masses.

The Gurmukhi script is not just a tool for communication; it holds profound religious and cultural significance for the Sikh community. As a symbol of spiritual enlightenment and unity, Gurmukhi has become an integral part of Sikh identity and continues to be a source of inspiration and devotion for millions worldwide. Its timeless legacy stands as a testament to the power of language and script in preserving and propagating the essence of faith and culture across generations.

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