NMI people urged to speak local languages
Monday, 12 October 2009 00:00 By Richelle Ann P. Agpoon - For Variety
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IF the Carolinian people lose their language, they will also lose their culture, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial said as he urged the indigenous people of the CNMI to continue using their native languages.
Fitial was the guest of honor during the Cultural Month celebration at the Carolinian Village in Garapan where the Carolinian Affairs Office held culture-oriented activities for students of the Public School System on Friday and Saturday.
In his speech, Fitial said “the CNMI must continue to be culturally distinct, with a clear identity of its own despite the international blending of cultures within the islands.”
He called the islands a “salad” because of their diverse cultures.
This diversity is one of the reasons why Chamorro and Carolinian cultures and languages must be preserved, he said.
In an interview, Fitial said Carolinians and Chamorros should teach their children to speak the native languages.
The government is collaborating with the Public School System to help ensure that the children use and understand Chamorro or Carolinian, he added.
“Although we use English, the emphasis should be on preserving our local languages and cultures,” Fitial said.
Students of Oleai, Kagman and Koblerville elementary school participated in a Carolinian speech competition on Friday.
Oleai students joined the Challenge Bowl competition on Saturday night.
The winners will be announced and awarded today, Commonwealth Cultural Day, at the Carolinian Village.
There will be live bands, cultural dance shows and other entertainment numbers from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. which will be followed by an appreciation night dinner at 6 p.m.
CAO is inviting everybody to join the celebration.