Definitions

Laṇḍā

Laṇḍā

The Laṇḍā script (Gurmukhi: ਲੰਡਾ), meaning an alphabet "without tail", is a Punjabi word used to refer to scripts in Northern India that do not use vowel signs. This is distinct from Lahnda which refers to Western Punjabi.

There are at least ten ancient scripts that classify as Laṇḍā scripts. They tended to be used as the mercantile scripts of Punjab and were normally not used for literary purposes.

Landa is a script that evolved from the sarada script during the 10th century. It was widely used in the northern and north-western part of India in the area comprising Punjab, Sindh, Kashmir and some parts of Baluchistan and NWFP. It was used to write Punjabi, Hindi, Sindhi, Balauchi, Kashmiri and Pashto.

In later centuries, Gurmukhi script evolved from the Landa. In the late nineteenth century, Sindhi started using devnagari script. Similarly, people in northern India began using devnagari to write Hindi.

Modern Usage

Nowadays, the script is mostly used by small family-owned businesses in Indian Punjab and some neighboring provinces. Such businesses use it to hide what is being written from customers. People knowing the script are generally reluctant to share it with others, imparting the information only to those close to them. However, the use of the script is becoming less and less common as the need for such secrecy in business matters has died.

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