Hazaragi has traditionally been considered a dialect, sociolect or ethnolect of Persian (Dari/Farsi) spoken by Hazara people. Australia became the first country to recognise Hazaragi as a distinct language coinciding with the significant arrival of Hazaras around 2000. This paper draws on interviews with members of the Australian Hazara community to assess how recognition of Hazaragi has influenced ethnic identity discourses. It finds that this recognition subsequently created intense debates about language and Hazara identity. The findings of this paper have consequences for our understanding of the complex relationship between language ideology and policy in ethnic and national identities
James Barry, PhD, is an Associate Research Fellow at Deakin University, specialising in the links between language and ethnic and religious identities in the Middle East. Dr Barry's book "Armenian Christians in Iran: Ethnicity, Religion and Identity in the Islamic Republic" is available through Cambridge University Press.
Niamatullah Ibrahimi, PhD, is a Lecturer in International Relations at La Trobe University, specialising in political violence, peacebuilding and post-conflict political orders. Dr Ibrahimi is the author of The Hazaras and the Afghan State: Rebellion, Exclusion and the Struggle for Recognition (2017), and Afghanistan: Politics and Economics in a Globalising State (with Professor William Maley, 2020).