[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list