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Who … are we? | આમે … કિડેએ …

1 October 2016

Translated from the Chaudhary-Bhili language of Adivasis to the English by Rupalee Burke

Dwellers of forests and hills
True owners of forests and rulers of hills
Inhabiting forests since primeval times
Cultivating crops from the depths of the Earth
Sustainers of the world
Consuming fruits and flowers forests offer us
Drinking water from rippling brooks
With self-respect we live and let live
Like tigers in the forest we live with self-pride
Resisting slavery with all our might
Sleeping on empty stomach rather than begging
Foraging food from forests and hills
To keep ourselves alive
Since Nature gives us our daily bread
It is for us most divine
Where food we get there is our shrine
Who gives us food, who cares for us, our deity is
Thus are forests and hills our deities
The tiger, our deity, protects us in the forest
So is the cobra who fends the crops in our fields
Supporting us and our fields, the river is our deity
We depend on Nature for sustenance
Not on the pity of others
Head held high we live in Mother Earth’s lap
Head held high we die in Mother Earth’s lap.

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