I think what is most important is that Mr. Ekin Public passes onto the next generation: his nieces, nephews, childrenâ€¦ the wisdom of the ancestors. He should seek to share the values of his Polci culture with them. The most important thing is not that they speak the Polci language. Learning and appreciating the value system of the Polcis is paramount.
What lessons have we learnt from those that have come before us, those that have come and gone â€“ our ancestors, our forebears? What wisdom, knowledge and understanding can we glean from their unique experiences? How do we interpret the choices they made? How do we interpret their successes, victories, setbacks, and failures?
What can we and what do we actually take home from these things? How do we better our lives as a result? What valuable contributions can we and do we bring to the table as we gaze into these ancient landmarks? What lasting, ever evolving, glorious contribution can we make, bearing in mind â€“ our past, confronting our present and looking into our future?
These are the key questions I think we should ponder upon. These are thoughtful issues I think we should consider. These questions can lead us to the portals or vistas of enriching civilization. What is more important: speaking a native language or applying in your daily lives, the positive values and wisdom that the native culture is blessed with? In the domain of public performance of daily duties, this, your native language is a second or third language.
This is true and practically so all over the world, though there may be one or two exceptions to the rule. The language that holds sway is usually the language that is used in formal, official settings â€“ the lingua franca of the motherland.
Let us use the English language as an example of a lingua franca and Nigeria as an example of a motherland. English is the official language of Nigeria. This is a country of over 200 different languages. How can people from countless various tribes communicate with one another? And how can they do so fluently, effortlessly and quite successfully? A central or common language is needed to facilitate the process.
English serves this purpose. Good communication played and continues to play a major role in promoting peace and security in Nigeria. People of different tribes, who speak different languages, interact with one another in an amazingly progressive way â€“ thanks to the English language! Individuals of a particular ethnic group find it easier to have a better grasp of the expressions and motivations of folks from other distant ethnic groups â€“ thanks to the English language!
This language makes things easy. This language continues to act as a unifying factor in this country or Nation that houses the largest concentration of Blacks on planet Earth. And just as an aside: if ever colonialism did Nigeria any good, that good is English language. Period.
It is true that some languages in different parts of the world are at the brink of extinction. It is true that fewer and fewer people speak these languages. As the years and decades and centuries increase, the percentage of people who speak these languages decreases. Inverse proportionality! Ha! But is this surprising? I do not think so. Evolution is in full gear. History teaches us that it is best to be on the right side of evolution. It is important to learn from evolution.
Some people laugh at the English language. They declare that English is not a rich language. They say, â€śEnglish borrows too much from other languagesâ€ť. But unknown to them, this seeming weakness of English is one of her greatest strengths. Let us go to Evolution.
A very important lesson from Evolution is this: the species that survive are those that, seek to, learn to, and actually adapt and adopt. English can be likened unto a snowball, rolling down from the top of a mountain of highest heights. It gets bigger and bigger as it advances.
English morphs. She is malleable. She adopts new words. She adapts to the ever-changing times. She wisely learns from others. She gladly embraces new words. She is not scared of those who seem to be from afar. Her hands are warm, firm and beautifully outstretched. She breathes in the tried and true. She looks outside and declares, â€śThose are a part of me as well!â€ť Many have given to her.
Many have embellished her. She basks in the ecstasy of life. She presents to the world, a smorgasbord of vibrant words. She has great strengths. And it should not be surprising to see that English is the official (or should we say, â€śunofficially officialâ€ť?) language of the United Nations.
In English, you will find Greek, Latin, Spanish, etc, etcâ€¦ Who speaks Latin today? What percentage of humans living on Earth today, speaks Latin? Quite tiny indeed. In the glory days of Latin, did a lot of people see this coming? Most likely not. Nevertheless, Latin lives on. Yes, in English, Latin lives on and I would say Latin is doing quite well and will never be forgotten.
It could very well be that Latinâ€™s best option was to seed herself to English, to find in English a home, to contribute a lot to this ever expanding language. And in so doing, she has contributed immensely to the process of communication and also to the expanding human intelligence.
Letâ€™s not get distracted. The most important thing is that individuals are able to communicate and to do so efficiently and successfully, world-over. It matters less, what language is used. It matters most, that we communicate and understand one another. What we seek for are lasting and enduring fruits of wisdom, peace, prosperity and security. I care less about sustaining peopleâ€™s over bloated egos or wounded pride!
A very important question Mr. Ekin Publicâ€™s nieces, nephews, children and childrenâ€™s children should be concerned about is, â€śWhat great contribution can the Polci language seed to the English language?â€ť What valuable, deep, most meaningful words can our native languages bring to the table? A tribal language may die-off in 1,000, 2,000 or 6,000 yearsâ€™ time.
It may cease to be spoken A â€“ Z. But it can live on in another, new, more enlarged, widely spoken, widely adopted language. It can bring in unique and insightful terminologies, phrases, figures of speech, idioms, and proverbs. It can enrich the lingua franca. And be glorified in it.
In your Bilei, Hebrew, Jaba, Urhobo, Pashtu or Zulu, you have a better way of conveying a certain illustration. In your Farsi, Hausa, Kisi, Quechua or Yoruba, you have word-expressions that are weightier, fuller, clearer and more profound than their English, French, Spanish or Chinese counterparts. Bring them in! Even English may some day give way to another, yet to be determined language. And no doubt she would pour all her goodies into this new language.
Uhuru is a word that has gained solid footing in formal Nigeria. It is sandwiched between authentic, prominent and valiant English words. The use of â€śuhuruâ€ť in a sentence is widely accepted in the country. It constitutes good English. Simple and correct English!
Journalists are comfortable with it and they find it very handy. They have even played a major role in constantly shelving it down their readersâ€™ throats. And the readers have obliged to gulp it all in! Headlines flash, â€śItâ€™s Not Yet Uhuru for The Senate President!â€ť â€śThe Thoughts of Uhuru for Amebo Ajangbadi Gives Aproko Thomas Sleepless Nightsâ€¦â€ť Most definitely, in literate Nigeria, uhuru has come to stay! Uhuru holds sway!
Uhuru is a word from the Swahili language. It means â€śfreedomâ€ť, â€śindependenceâ€ť. Even if Swahili ceases to spoken, it would continue to live on â€“ in the English language. Thanks to words like uhuru! Thanks for the contribution! Uhuru is well established. Its presence is eminent in notable dictionaries. So bring in your rich tribal words! And who knows, someday, they may journey their way into the ever-expansive, extensive Oxford Advanced Learnerâ€™s Dictionary of Modern (or should we say, â€śPost-Modernâ€ť?) English. LOLâ€¦
Pidgin English presents a good example of a language that is registering her strong influence on Nigerian English and by extension, Global English. Nigerian Pidgin, a language of few rules (in practice) has been elevated to a glorified dimension by a unique set of Nigerians domiciled in Warri of the Niger-Delta. Pidgin (or Wafi English, as she is called) constantly evolves in Warri â€“ and at a fast rate. New words or slangâ€™s pop up constantly.
Pidgin borrows a lot from various tribal languages. She takes these tribal words, puts a spin on them, stretches them and brings greater beauty out of them. And she has a way of embellishing them with a lovely sense of humor, which further contributes to making her, a more admirable language. Everyone is interested in â€śWafi Pidginâ€ť. Musicians and comedians learn and make use of this Warriâ€™s version!
Slowly but surely, as Pidgin becomes more popular, and more creative, she exerts an undeniable influence on English. Pidgin English, Broken English, with her twist on native tribal languages and cooked-up slangâ€™s, showcases her trademark and pours her lovely juices into Nigerian English.
This is happening very slowly and gradually and in â€śbroad daylightâ€ť. Nigerian English is becoming a gorgeous language kaleidoscope â€“ slowly but surely. And if Nigerians would take out time to understand the underlying nuances of my yarnings, Nigeria, as a Nation can exert a remarkable influence on the world â€“ through language. Yes, language.
The human language is highly limited. We always fall short of wordsâ€¦ We always cannot find the right words to adequately paint the pictures in our minds on the canvas of our expressions â€“ to clearly get others to see these pictures just the way we see them in our hearts, in our experiences.
There is so much room for growth, for improvement and for good progress. There is so much space for expansion. And I think the various tribal languages have something to offer the lingua franca. The dictionary of words needs to increase continuously and rightly so.
Communication would be richer, fuller and deeper. It would become easier for people to pass across deep meanings, values, and information of great significance. Obviously, the level of appreciation that others would show for these meanings and values would increase. This is all good for boosting understanding, tolerance, cooperation and even loveâ€¦
â€¦This, your native language will some day fade to red. It is not a matter of â€śifâ€ť but a matter of â€śwhenâ€ť. This, your native language may be looked at or visited in times to come through the archives. This is what future generations would have to do.
And this may start happening in 1,000 or 5,000 or 72,000 yearsâ€™ time. That many, many languages would die-off is a fact. Stark reality! â€śYou will die-off anyway. Your best bet is to look for new and better ways to continue to exist in another.â€ť Otherwise, you may never be seen anywhere. And please, donâ€™t be mad at this. Evolution holds sway! Donâ€™t fight this. Evolution thinks differently!
Evolution would have his toll. He would have his way. He would gather his spoils. He has little or no regard for your bias or deep-seated prejudice. He would neither sooth your unfounded fears nor would he cajole (or soft-soap) your fragile egos. But he patiently presents a large billboard before you. And it reads, â€śGo with the flow. Come on in, the waterâ€™s safeâ€¦â€ť
The most important thing is not that a language spoken by 50,000 people, must survive. The most important thing is not that a language spoken by 3 million people should live on forever. The somewhat cessation of countless languages is an inevitable outcome in a planet that is factually fast becoming a tiny global village. The odds are stacked up against them.
As civilization advances, their chances are increasingly becoming slimmer and dimmer. Many factors impinge on them. Many factors exert pressure on them, sniffing the life out of them â€“ in broad daylight, right before our eyes: Formal Education, Paradigm Shifts in Culture, Inter- tribal & Interracial Marriages, Travel, Trade, Commerce & Industry, Religion, to mention but a few.
Why kill yourselves over â€ślanguagesâ€ť? Were you created for languages or were languages made for you? Look up, you are way bigger than these things! Languages may come. Languages may go. But you remain. And you should stand tall. A language is a tool. You are not a tool.
Do we strive with bathed breath to ensure that no language perishes? Many have already gone â€“ â€śfaded to redâ€ť. Ashanti, Ijaw, Igbo, Luo, Lingala, etc may someday, â€śfade to redâ€ť. German, Spanish, French, Italian and yes, even English may someday, â€śfade to redâ€ť. Should people be forced to speak a certain language? Should parents quarrel and fight with their children for not speaking the mother tongue? Should untold resources be poured into preserving a particular language?
This is a world of scarce resources. This is a playground where we cannot shy away from, at least the element of truth found in, â€śsurvival of the fittestâ€ť. We started with hundreds upon hundreds of different languages. Now they are all converging into one. There is wisdom in this. Each individual language journeys from far and wide, dancing to the circle centre, bringing to the table an experience so rich, so unique.
She presents her gifts, her wisdom, and her blessings. The circle centre is made stronger, greater and highly splendid. Yes, there is value in this. â€śWe started off as many; we are ending up as one.â€ť â€śWe started off as many to enable us to reach out to the outermost parts and absorb it all in and then to come together, and merge into oneness â€“ to cause the circle centre to be richest, filled with so much power, way beyond our wildest dreams!â€ť Oh! The beauty and valor of synergy!
â€¦Sometimes it is best to allow things to take their natural course. Sometimes the honorable path to tow is to bow out gracefully â€“ and this is where you may stand tall. And this is why you may never be forgotten. And this is how you may continue to exert your unflinching influence, commanding the respect of all. Sometimes, your glory lies behind the scenes. Sometimes, you accomplish more by being swallowed up. Swallow your pride. Kamikaze, â€śyour death is gainâ€ť. Fade to redâ€¦
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