Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Existential Problems of minority cultures.

The Australian: Speaking one's mother tongue is vital

Noel Pearson writes in The Australian on the existential problems of Indigenous Australians, and by extension, other minority cultures ("Where are the Livonians today?", and "The Swedes on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea...under Russian or Soviet domination").

He makes particular mention of the Guugu Yimdhirr, to whom the author "belongs historically and linguistically, and through descent.", but also mentions the Yolngu.

He states that "Anglophones, such as non-indigenous Australians, have difficulty understanding the existential angst of small ethnicities." because "The English language and the Anglophone culture are the most powerful forces in history."

He ends with a plea:

If you don't know an indigenous Australian language, learn one. (People with no indigenous Australian family may learn the language of the area with which they have the strongest ties.) If you know an indigenous Australian language, improve your grasp of it; literacy in Australian languages is still rare.

Then speak it to the children. This is the noblest and worthiest cause for an Australian patriot.

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