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22 February 2012

Today is “International Day of the Mother Language”:

The [Mexico City] News:

The National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (Conapred), on Tuesday stated that the prevalence and dignity of indigenous languages must be guaranteed through the creation of public policies that promote the multicultural wealth of indigenous communities in Mexico.

On the occasion of International Day of the Mother Language, in a press release the government agency pointed out that an integral part of equality and acceptance toward indigenous communities in any country is to foster respect for natives’ ideals and cultural identities.

The Conapred noted that part of that vision to create the legal, administrative and cultural instruments to generate change and to preserve indigenous tongues was presented in a document by the Mexican government to the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on Feb. 14 and 15.

The document reported the progress made in combating discrimination against indigenous people and recognized the historical debt Mexico owes indigenous communities in terms of backlog in the development of 68 language groups and their 364 variations.

“At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the Mexican delegation stressed that discrimination against indigenous languages is a direct violation of the rights of people who speak native languages and affects their accessibility to education, health and justice systems,” the Conapred stated.

This reality has marginalized and impoverished indigenous communities throughout Mexico because, according to the agency, the federal government has disregarded their needs and failed to create policies that induce equal development within the nation.

Nahautl being the second most widely spoken of the fifty plus official languages in Mexico (and the most commonly understood of the indigenous languages), I was gonna celebrate the occasion with a clip of Huitzilopochtli ihuan i notzaztli ica Cuahuitilica, from the Mexico City band, Yaoyotl.  I decided against it because — while I have nothing in theory against death metal, and Nahautl Death Metal music has a bigger fan base than you’d expect —  every time I listen to the band whose name in English would be “War”,  I want to rip out somebody’s heart… and my own ears.

So, for the indigenous-language challenged among us, I’ll stick with something more singable:  Rockercoatl’s popular Tehuatl ti huallaz nican, presented with the lyrics and Spanish subtitles.

Kuikatl = “a song”

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