[QODLink]
Living the Language

Bolivia: The Aymara

Previously untold stories are now being heard in Bolivia, often in languages once excluded from public discourse.

Last updated: 17 Jul 2014 19:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The streets of the Bolivian capital La Paz have changed, as have the faces of power. Previously untold stories of colonisation and hardships are now being told, often in the form of colourful murals lining the main thoroughfares of the city.

In Evo Morales the country has its first indigenous president and he has made promoting indigenous languages a part of his agenda. Indeed, 75 per cent of Bolivia's population is indigenous. Still, many feel that speaking languages such as Aymara publicly signals low class and backwardness.

"When I'm on stage I see a bit of admiration from the public," says musician Rufino Machaca Mamani. "But if I speak Aymara with my friends, they will discriminate. They think that I'm a peasant and an Indian."

However, culture is the first step to changing perceptions of Aymara and other indigenous languages. A lot of modern music is now being made and sung with lyrics in languages previously excluded from the public discourse.

Aymara rapper Abraham Bohorquez says: "We do hip-hop, and at the same time we reclaim the cultural identity of our communities. Five years ago, many young people were ashamed of being Aymara or Quechua."

In Bolivia, the movement for change from within is starting with pride.

Living the Language  can be seen on Al Jazeera English each week at the following times GMT:  Tuesday:  1630;  Wednesday:  0930;  Thursday:  0330; Friday:  1630;  Saturday:  2230;  Sunday:  0930;  Monday:  0330

 

327

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.
join our mailing list