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| 03Aug2018 | Will Zuzak
Language Responsibilities and Indigenous Rights
The article by Neil Hauer titled "Putin's
Russify the Caucasus" has prompted me to clarify my views on
"language". The plan of Vladimir Putin to destroy all the ethnic
languages in the Russian Federation and impose the Russian language is
clearly a form of genocide as defined by Raphael Lemkin. This contrasts
with Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary (a Mafia
State as defined
by Balint Magyar), who has
recently demanded that Ukraine provide Hungarian-language
eduction for its citizens of Hungarian ethnic origin.
Ironically, Mr. Orban is a great fan of Mr. Putin.
my views are tempered by my experiences here in Canada, which has
English and French as state languages, but has a very large fraction of
citizens of various ethnic origins, as well as several indigenous
peoples whose languages are in danger of being lost. Nevertheless, I
feel that my views are compatible with the needs of all countries
throughout the world.
First of all, you as an individual have a
responsibility to the Creator and to your ancestors to learn the
language of your parents and grandparents. Their experiences and your
interactions with them form a significant portion of your soul. An
understanding of the history of your ancestors (on a personal level, if
possible) contributes to an understanding of your own soul and your
place in the world. The corollary is that parents and grandparents have
a responsibility to teach their children and grandchildren their
original languages, and that the state has a responsibility to provide
(or allow) such language instruction in their educational system.
as a citizen of a particular state, you have a responsibility to learn
the state language(s), so as to be able to fully participate in the
affairs of your country -- economically, socially and politically.
Knowing two or more languages is an asset to both you and your country.
It could/should also be an asset to the country of your heritage -- in
a positive collaborative sense; not in a negative imperialistic sense.
allow me to explore the concept of "indigenous" peoples. Natives of
Canada, the United States and Mexico are the indigenous peoples of
North America. Crimean Tatars are the indigenous people of Crimea.
Circassians are the indigenous people of the area around Sochi, Russia.
Serbians are the indigenous people of Kosovo. These indigenous peoples
form an integral part of the soul of the land in which they lived for
centuries -- before they were overwhelmed, killed or evicted by
conquerors or emigrated to other parts of the world voluntarily. The
history books of every country should highlight the history of its
On the other hand, this does not mean that
these indigenous peoples have a right to occupy and rule their
ancestral lands to the detriment of the present inhabitants. But it
does mean that they should be given priority to return or immigrate to
these lands, if they can meet the immigration requirements and are
willing to abide by the laws of the country. In my view, indigenous
rights should have an exponential decay with a half life of about 100
Will Zuzak; 2018.08.03