Friday, November 14, 2008

Memory

Earlier this year I read two articles about two women from completely different cultures who had one thing in common: they were the last remaining speakers of their native tongue. Marie Smith, a native of Alaska, was the last native speaker of Eyak before she died in January. Soma Devi Dura, a native of Nepal, is the only remaining speaker of Dura.

The stories of these women struck me. The process of globalization brings us so many good things. Kiwis in Missouri in November. The opportunity to understand humanity at a different level by experiencing other cultures. Travel. But what are the sacrifices?

Then, earlier this week, I read this article in the New York Times. It tells the story of a school in India that is preserving the native languages of the students.

I found it to be encouraging. Humans can be accidentally destructive and also purposefully constructive.

1 comment:

espionage said...

When you said "kiwis in Missouri in November" I immediately thought, "What? Globalization is bringing lots of New Zealanders to Missouri?" (Kiwi being what they call themselves)