Assimilation

I’m sitting here this morning getting ready to go to work (and being truly appalled at the amount of housework I didn’t get to last night, when I was a little frazzled, and dicked around instead)… when I come across this post over at A Step At a Time. Native languages are going away in Russia.

No surprise, really. Russia and China both play a double game of trying to force assimilation, just like the U.S. did in the 19th century… only, as usual, neither country is honest enough to admit it, let alone admit, like we did, that doing so was a mistake. I’ve heard stories of folks doing museum work in Kazan desperately trying to preserve their heritage while simultaneously doing everything possible to hide the face of what they’re doing, lest they come to unwanted attention and literally get their museum shut down. And, yes, both countries are still that bad. This sort of thing is unfortunately not at all uncommon.
So I listened to this Koryak song, and another one that’s Selkup. Besides maybe-actually recognizing the word “bird” in the latter, I could have fallen out of my chair. Both of them have rhythms that just say “home.” Though, fair warning: the Koryak song is sort of dreamy… the Selkup song is an outright lament, and paced as such. You’re going to get funny looks if you play it at work.

And there’s pretty much not dick anybody here can do about it, besides simply bring it to folks’ attention, and, if you happen to know one of these folks… learn a poem or a song…

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