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Enduring voices

I read a very interesting article on National Geographic today about endangered languages. Seems that languages are disappearing at a faster pace than they did in the past, taking with them the “key that can unlock local knowledge about medicinal secrets, ecological wisdom, weather and climate patterns, spiritual attitudes, and artistic and mythological histories”, as its author Paroma Basu puts out in such a poetical way.

Fortunately, the article goes on to tell of the efforts made by the Enduring Voices Project to document these languages with oral and written records, and to encourage their speakers to stick to their traditions.

But reading about this has made me think how many good things are lost for lack of care. I mean, every one of us is the only speaker of a very unique, very special language, whether as an artist, mother, or simply as a man or woman. Every day we are surrounded by people who have something to offer, something which is totally original, and which deserves to be heard. However, we rarely take the time to listen, and so we allow another language to be extinct.

We bloggers are in an extraordinary position to make this change. We, as the scientists from Enduring Voices, can set ourselves the task to save these unique languages by acknowledging them, by listening and letting our voice be heard out there. It doesn’t have to be about poetry or art – although I am quite sure there will be a lot of that. It is simply an act of self-recognition. So, next time someone rants at you for using your blog to say what you want said, you can gently remind them you are allowing the blog to be a tool, not only for your own self-expression, but also for theirs.

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