Mother tongue is the native language, the language of one’s ethnic group which a child learns from home right from childhood and this language forms the basis of the child’s socio-linguistic identity. A child connects to his parents, family, relatives, culture and history through his mother tongue. The mother tongue connects the child with the culture of the society the child hails from and shapes his identity accordingly.
What is the fate of our mother tongue in this 21st century?
The invasion of Africa by the “colonial masters” has robbed a number of ethnic groups of their mother tongue to a large extent. For example, Cameroun was divided between the British and the French colonies at some point, consequently, they have English and French Languages as their official languages, not their mother tongue. Another example is Mozambique which was colonized by Portugal from 1505, the country eventually gained independence in 1975. Now Portuguese is the official language in Mozambique. In these countries, making foreign languages their official languages relegates the indigenous languages to the background.
The use of English Language gained its root in Nigeria during the colonial era, the colonial masters laid emphasis on it and gradually it took priority over the local languages. The result is that the originality that expresses itself through the native languages and cultures of the people began to fade away gradually. Sadly, a number of research works have shown that the over 450 native/indigenous languages in Nigeria are now endangered and may go to extinct in the next century. This is because instead of the mother tongues, parents, especially the educated ones now speak English language to their children from birth; when they begin school, they learn to handle every communication in English Language, and eventually they unable to speak their native language.
In the wake of globalization, the world is now a global village. Through the media, English and other popular foreign languages are over-taking the indigenous languages. We should not forget that language is a very critical part of the people’s culture and an indispensable tool for preserving and transmitting cultural values and systems from one generation to another.
The beauty of the peoples lie in their ability to hold on to their indigenous language and noble culture, and develop them. For in the advancement of its own noble culture alone lies true progress for each nation/tribe! A people can only progress through the upward development of what they already possess originally as their own and not by imitating other people and imposing foreign languages and culture on their people/themselves.
It is through the diversity in language and culture that the right harmony in Creation comes into play, and not through uniformity among all peoples; if this had been Willed by The Creator, then there would have been only one country and one people! The refreshing complementary influence of the various peoples, languages and culture are necessary and required to sound the harmonious chord in Creation.
The language and culture of various peoples can be likened to the various musical instruments that make up an orchestra. Each one has a peculiar tone and quality of sound when played as a unit, but when played simultaneously, they collectively produce a beautiful harmony, very rich in tones and quality of sound. Therefore, we must preserve our mother tongue and noble culture, for it is our unique form of expression. Otherwise, our mother tongue would go into extinct and with time we shall be like a generation of people without history, without a root!
The explanation given in this article is based on the writer’s understanding of the Work “In The Light of Truth”, The Grail Message by Abd-ru-shin.
The reader is hereby invited to personally examine this Work. Copies of the Work can be obtained from any of the addresses listed here.
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