Marathi (मराठी Marāṭhī) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of what is considered western India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are 90 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi is the 4th most spoken language in India and the 15th most spoken language in world. Along with Bengali, Marathi is the oldest of the regional literatures in Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about AD 1000.
Marathi is estimated to be over 1300 years old, and it is evolved from Sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha. Its grammar and syntax derive from Pali and Prakrit. In ancient times, Marathi was called Maharashtri, Marhatti, Mahratti etc.
Peculiar features of Marathi linguistic culture include Marathi drama, with its unique flavour of 'Sangeet Natak' (musical dramas), scholarly discourses called 'Vasant Vyakhyanmala' (Lectures in Spring), Marathi folk dance called 'Lavani', and special editions of magazines for Diwali called 'Diwali anka'.
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