It is not a matter of course to be allowed to speak one's mother tongue

Unfortunately, many people are not allowed to speak in their native language, yes you read it right not allowed .This issue happens in several corners of the world. This article shows you a few sad examples

Read this article in: Deutsch, English, Français

Estimated reading time:3minutes

Trigger warning: This article treats with murder and genocide. Please take care of you!

Gruesome discovery near Kamloops

There was news on TV a few weeks ago which is now engraved on my head. This is the gruesome discovery of the remains of 215 children's bodies near the small Canadian town of Kamloops. Those children belonged to the Canadian indigenous population and attended a residential school, an interment home there. The indigenous children were snatched from their mothers and taken to boarding schools. There, their clothes were burnt and the children had to leave their families, their culture and their religion behind. They were forbidden to speak their mother tongue. The goal was complete assimilation into the Canadian majority society. This residential school near Kamloops was founded in 1890 and initially supported by the Catholic Church. The children living there were to be educated to become good Christians. In 1969, the home was handed over to the state, but conditions did not improve. It was not until 1978 that the residential school was closed. There were several more of these re-education homes in Canada. The last one closed only in 1996. In total, about 150,000 indigenous children were taken away from their families in Canada at that time. (Sexual) abuse and violence were the order of the day. The children often starved and did not receive adequate medical care. Many of them died, as did the children whose remains were recently found. Even more children never returned from those homes. Parents who inquired about them at the schools were only told that the children had run away. Even today, the crimes have not been fully dealt with. Large sections of the indigenous population hold the homes partly responsible for the high rates of alcoholism, homelessness and drug abuse among their group. The problems continue into the present. 

Cultural genocide happens worldwide and throughout history

Such "re-education" measures existed and still exist in various ways throughout history and the world. For example, in Australia there were the Stolen Generations. These are Aboriginal children who were forcibly separated from their families from the 20th century onwards and placed in homes, mission stations or white families so that they could grow up "like whites". This also continued until the end of the 1960s. At the time of National Socialism, there were the Lebensborn homes run by the SS, where "Aryan" looking blond, blue-eyed Polish children were brought and lived there in poor conditions. 

A current example of cultural genocide

A current example can be seen in the Uyghur autonomous region of Xinjang, where Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities living there are interned in re-education camps. Officially, those minorities are held there to counter religious radicalism and extremism. In reality, however, the aim is assimilation. The prisoners are kept there under the most adverse conditions. Numerous Uyghurs and other religious minorities have also been forcibly sterilised or forced to have abortions. Even in expert circles, this is considered cultural genocide. However, this is not the first attempt to sinicise minorities in China. 

The examples listed above are only a few. Alugha's blog is first and foremost not a platform for writing about political problems. It is about languages and multilingualism. However, language is political. Ethnocide can also include linguicide. A language is lost because people are not allowed to speak it. Of course, this is not the only reason why languages die. The term linguicide is rarely used. However, when one speaks of linguicide, it is often the result of ethnocide. Because language is part of identity, not being allowed to speak in one's language is a clear restriction. In some cases, languages and at the same time people can disappear. This interface should remain in the back of our minds. Unfortunately, it is not a matter of course to be able to speak one's mother tongue.






Sources: (07.06.2021, 13:32) (07.06.2021, 13:22) (07.06.2021, 13:22) (07.06.2021,13:21) (07.06.2021, 13:34) (07.06.2021, 13:41) (07.06.2021, 13:35) (07.06.2021, 13:37)


Photo: Louis Paulin via Unsplash. The picture shows the beautiful Kamloops, near by which the bodies of the kids were found. 



Nachtrag: Erst kürzlich wurden im kanadischen Saskatchewan in der Nähe einer Residential School hunderte von Kinderleichen gefunden. Es handelt sich also nicht um einen Einzelfall.

More articles by this producer