Posted by Rozenn Milin on February 8, 2010
A difficult issue, which depending on places, populations or activists, bears various possible answers. Some decide to fight on political grounds and have laws and budgets taken to vote, others engage in community scale projects such as the creation of schools or evening classes, and others, researchers and scholars, make an outstanding job on putting into writing languages which, traditionally, are exclusively oral.
Others come along with original and somewhat unexpected solutions. Which is the case of Beatrice Ouma, a young woman from Kenya who spent a few years studying in Rennes, France, where she discovered and decided to learn the Breton language… and then teach it to the children of the Luo ethnic group in Alego, near Lake Victoria, all the way back in Kenya!
On the understanding that one way of insuring survival of a threatened specie or plant is to resettle them elsewhere so they can later be reintroduced in their original environment when they have become fertile again, she decided to apply this basic principle to the Breton language. Thousands of miles away from Brittany, she taught the children of her village to count, chat and sing in Breton, hoping this would help the language live on…
And the outcome is amazing, often funny and always moving, as you’ll see from the following Sorosoro-like movie clips.
On the other side of the planet, these children discuss weekdays and count up to 80 : video 1
tell us about colours : video 2
sing the Breton anthem : video 3
sing and comment traditional songs : video 4 and video 5
A great example of sharing cultural diversity!
Now for Breton kids to learn songs in the Luo language…