Langaz Kreol

    Since it is now a pleasure to read the paper version (internet) of Le Mauricien, it takes me double the time to go through it. On Friday, it actually took me thrice the time. Going through Forum Kreol took me easily half an hour to read through. I will be the first to admit it: when all the debate about standardising the Kreol language was raging, I was among those who thought that it was a waste of time since that language cannot bring anything new.
    However, Friday’s Forum Kreol was like a slap in the face. And it stung. I realised that it is indeed a language to be reckoned with. The linguists who took the time and effort to develop it deserve recognition big time. Trying to do the Mo-Krwaze demanded not only knowledge of the Mauritian culture but also the proper way to write Kreol. I can tell you, it was no easy job. I could not finish the Mo-Krwaze as I do not have a Kreol dictionary and this annoyed me.
    It got me thinking to how, we, in Mauritius, always overlook what we have at home in favour of things abroad. We tend to think that whatever comes from abroad is much better than the same thing local. We always go for foreign experts, foreign brands, foreign education, study foreign languages and forget that we can develop what we have at home. I am in no way saying that whatever is foreign is bad, on the contrary, we benefit a lot from foreign help and services. But maybe now it is time that we turn our attention at home, improve what we have and be proud of it.

Gaelic
    I take Ireland and the Irish language, Gaelic, as an example. Nowadays, if you ask Irish people, the majority would ruefully tell you that they haven’t got a clue about Gaelic, so much so, that they will not be able to help their kids with even the elementary Gaelic homework. Gaelic was widely spoken in Ireland until the British invasion and from then on declined steadily. At present, out of a population of 4 581 269, the number of Gaelic speakers stand to 1.66 million, which is quite a small number.
    However, there have been huge efforts to revive the Irish language. There is a TV channel devoted only to Irish language. Road signs, office names and ministries have both English and Gaelic appellations. There are also schools devoted to Gaelic called the Gaelscoil. There, the teaching is Irish language based, with the purpose of the school being to produce competent Gaelic speakers, through the students being exposed to the language on every front at school. Among the most noted Irish speakers was Michaela McAvearey (Harte), who was well known for her great interest and pride in the Irish culture and language. She never failed to communicate in the language whenever the opportunity presented itself.
    We do not want to lose out innate Mauritian culture and language. It is a big part of our identity, irrespective of anywhere we go in the world. With that in mind, we should do our utmost to support our local culture and language and be confident that our language and culture should keep evolving in the right direction.