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Bolivia: Promoting Quechua and Aymara

Bloggings by boz links to a report from today's Washington Post reporting that “Bolivian President Morales’ government is making a major push to teach students Quechua and Aymara, Bolivia's two main native languages.” If you'd like to learn a little Quechua why not start with this lesson [ES] on bringing in the new year with a collection of popular sayings.


  • Part of the problem (and controversy) is that Evo’s government isn’t making a “push” to teach indigenous languages (after all, it was the first Sanchez de Lozada administration that ensured full parity to indigenous-language education). But rather that he’s “forcing” people to learn languages. It’s the forcing part that riles many, particularly the mestizo populations of the Amazonic eastern lowlands. And, ironically, forcing one’s language on others is a recognized form of cultural imperialism.

  • DerHistorian

    The ‘Tawantinsuyo’ [the ‘Inca Empire’] was never fully destroyed and includes large sections of Bolivia and Peru. The Aymara Nation and Quechua Nation are part of the ‘Tawantinsuyo’.
    Language parity is fine, but most Bolivian Mestizos and Hispanics are so racist as to believe the language of the ‘Tawantinsuyo’ to be lowly and not worth the time to learn.
    Maybe Morales is practicing “cultural imperialism” but how else to make sure that the Bolivian people are united? If Bolivians are taught, even forcefully taught, Quechua/Aymara language, then it is all the better to unite their peoples.
    Spanish is the international language, but Quechua/Aymara are Bolivias national languages.

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