22 November 2013

On Easter Island, dedicated few trying to preserve native Rapa Nui language

Easter Island's Rapa Nui language nearly died after Chile annexed the island. But, perhaps sensing that losing the language would endanger the island's status as a major tourist draw, the Chilean government is now working with the people of Easter Island to preserve the language and teach it to a new generation.

The South Pacific Easter Island’s towering stone Moai figures lure in 60,000 visitors a year.

Islanders smile, sing and dance in polyester costumes to cater to the mostly Spanish-speaking spenders. Ever since Chile annexed Easter Island more than a century ago, the Spanish language has been chipping away at the Polynesian-based language called Rapa Nui.

But these tourists, fuelling the island’s economy, are also diluting the culture they came to see. Now, with only a couple thousand speakers left, the islanders are upping their effort to revive the Rapa Nui language.

Until the late 1990s, the Chilean government effectively outlawed the islanders from speaking in Rapa Nui. Any public sector job or office required knowing and speaking in Spanish.

Anything involving the schools, police or property rights was in Spanish too.

Even the great, great granddaughter of a Rapa Nui King, Alicia Makohe, grew up speaking Spanish. She taught herself Rapa Nui at 14.


1 comment:



Southeast Asia and West Melanesia/Maluku&West Papua – the archipelagos situated between Asia and Australia, called Nusaantara, lately known as Indonesia. Thus Indonesia is A World of Nations. Not s nation. That’s why, in the process of decolonization, the sovereignty of the peoples and nations of the Dutch Colonial Territories in Southeast Asia and West Melanesia had been transferred by the Dutch Kingdom in the Federal States, called “Republik Indonesia Serikat (RIS/the United States of Indonesia)”.
But on August 17, 1950, the Jakarta-a component state of the RIS made An Indonesian Question, by proclaimed the whole Dutch Colonial Territories in Southeast Asia and West Melanesia as its own homeland saying: “Indonesia Satu Bangsa, Satu Tanah-air (Indonesia is a nation, and a homeland).” This Question is firstly against the Constitution of the RIS, and mostly against Natural and Spiritual Laws”. An act of making injustice legal, plot against and kill good men, and sentence the innocent to death.

Such bad conduct started firstly and especially upon us, the Moluccan people and our natural wealth. “Since the very time of its appears up to now, Indonesia always fights against unarmed populations. All form of its manifestation damaging more than only the lives and the rights of human and species; countless invaluable elements and various functions of nature and cultures that are very crucial to earth and human survival are also being damaged”. This was the most prominent causal-factors of terrorist attacks and natural disasters one after another in Southeast Asia and West Melanesia.
The more we postpone the time to solve the Indonesian Question, the more sufferings and destructions it makes, more terrible than what men ever could estimated. By contrast:
Any support to revitalize the RMS movement according to the UN’s decolonization process and, to regain the strength of nature and culture of Maluku (See the Functions of the Wallacea) is but one of a local challenge to global survival.

“Concerning the Destructive Forces of Terrorist-attacks and Natural-disasters in Southeast Asia and West Melanesia, INDONESIA was the problem”. And the solution is, the peoples and nations of Southeast Asia and West Melanesia (Maluku & West Papua) must be freed. This is the rights concern to safe our endangered Planetary-home.

Assen, August 15, 2014,
On behalf of the suppressed people/republic in Maluku,
Dosianus Ony Sahalessy,
The executive-leader of the Moluccan People’s Mission (MPM)
The emergency representative of the Republic of South Moluccas