Bhojpuri is a language spoken in parts of north-central and eastern India. It is spoken in the western part of state of Bihar, the northwestern part of Jharkhand, and the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh (UP), as well as adjoining parts of the Nepal Terai. Bhojpuri is also spoken in Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago and Mauritius. The variant of Bhojpuri of the Surinamese Hindustanis is also referred to as Sarnami Hindustani, Sarnami Hindi or just Sarnami and has experienced considerable Creole and Dutch lexical influence. More Indians in Suriname know Bhojpuri compared to Guyana and Trinidad where the language is largely forgotten.
Bhojpuri is part of the Eastern-Hindi or Bengali continuum of languages which once extended from Assam and Bengal to Ballia. While the rest of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh slowly adopted the new Hindi standard (Khadi Boli), the language remained strong in the areas between Patna and Benaras.Some scholar trace the literacy history of Bhojpuri from Siddha Sahitya itself, as early as 8th century A.D. Kabir’s contribution of ‘nirgun’ poetry to Sant Sahitya certainly qualifies as recorded literature in Bhojpuri in the 15th century.The nineteenth century has such works as Deviksaracarita by Ramdatta Shukla (1884), Badmasdarpan by Teg Ali Teg (1895), and Jangal me Mangal and Nagari Vilap by Ram Garib Chaube in the later half of the nineteenth century.