Death Anniversary of U SoSo Tham in India in 2024

Death Anniversary of U SoSo Tham in India in 2024
  How long until Death Anniversary of U SoSo Tham?
Death Anniversary of U SoSo Tham
  Dates of Death Anniversary of U SoSo Tham in India
2025 Meghalaya Thu, Dec 18 Regional Holiday
2024 Meghalaya Wed, Dec 18 Regional Holiday
2023 Meghalaya Mon, Dec 18 Regional Holiday
2022 Meghalaya Sun, Dec 18 Regional Holiday
2021 Meghalaya Sat, Dec 18 Regional Holiday

A holiday in Meghalaya to mark the legendary Khasi poet laureate U Soso Tham who died on 18 December 1940

When is the Death Anniversary of U Soso Tham?

The Death Anniversary of U Soso Tham is a regional holiday in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya on December 18th.

This holiday commemorates the noted poet U Soso Tham and his contributions to the Khasi language.

History of the Death Anniversary of U Soso Tham

U Soso Tham was born in 1873 in Meghalaya. He was a Khasi, an indigenous ethnic group in northeastern India. The Khasi language is very different from the many other languages spoken in India and is part of the Austroasiatic language group that reaches down to Indonesia. For centuries it was an oral language with no written script. Khasi was written down in Bengali and then using the Roman script after the arrival of Welsh missionaries in the 19th century.

Despite a poor background and little formal education, Tham became a schoolteacher. After switching jobs several times, he was appointed a Khasi language teacher in the government high school, Shillong in 1905 and worked there until his retirement in July 1931.

He was the first poet to initiate secular literature with diction. He was the first person to make use of Khasi idioms in a form taken mainly from English poetry.

Soso Tham's main legacy is the two volumes of poetry he left behind - "Ka Duitara Ksiar" (The Golden Harp, 1925), comprising 46 short poems, including lyrics, ballads and nursery rhymes, and 14 translations of various English poets. 

His other creation "Ki Sngi Ba Rim U Hynniew Trep" (The Olden Days of U Hynniew Trep) (1936) is considered a masterpiece of Indian literature. This is a single long poem having 181 stanzas of six lines divided into 10 sections. The poem is about the Hynniew Trep people, ancestors of the seven Khasi sub-tribes.

Tham translated Aesop's Fables into Khasi language, which has become the most widely read book in Khasi society today. He also translated Charles Dickens' "The Life of Our Lord" and the great Shakespearean comedy "The Tempest", which he gave the title "U Kyllang". However, the manuscript of this translation was lost.

His efforts elevated the Khasi language and he is considered the greatest literary icon in the history of literature of Meghalaya

Tham died on December 18th 1940. His contribution to Khasi literature didn't reward him during his lifetime. A statue of Tham was only erected in 1975.

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