Kaqchikel – Philosophy

Kaqchikel – Philosophy

Music; Ambience: Student singing in Kaqchikel, Good morning greeting, Sounds from playground

We’re listening to a group of 4 years olds singing “Good Morning Grandmother, Good Morning Grandfather” sung in Kaqchikel — an indigenous language of the Central Highlands of Guatemala. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Seven years ago, the town of Patcizia opened a kindergarten through 6th grade Spanish-Kaqchikel bilingual school, to teach students about their heritage. Here is the school’s director.

“We teach our students how our world view affects our studies and why our approach to life is important in school. For example, our ancestors have always told us that everything on earth has life – books, rocks, land, animals, trees. We tell our children that everything has life. But when our children share this with others people just laugh at them, so we want to teach our children that what we say is true even though others may not believe our ways. If we say things have life, they have life. If other people do not agree that is their belief, but we don’t have to agree with them.”

The students don’t just learn their native culture’s values, they also learn its language. We’re listening to them sing “Ti Bix” or, “The Little Song”, in Kaqchikel.

“But then again some of our own people want us to only teach Spanish, not Kaqchikel, because they say that Kaqchikel is an old language that is not important to us today. But we want interculturality here in our town and for that we need to speak Kaqchikel.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Kaqchikel - Philosophy

In a Guatemalan school, teachers strive to educate children of their Kaqchikel heritage.
Air Date:09/26/2007
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Kaqchikel - Philosophy

Music; Ambience: Student singing in Kaqchikel, Good morning greeting, Sounds from playground

We're listening to a group of 4 years olds singing "Good Morning Grandmother, Good Morning Grandfather" sung in Kaqchikel -- an indigenous language of the Central Highlands of Guatemala. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Seven years ago, the town of Patcizia opened a kindergarten through 6th grade Spanish-Kaqchikel bilingual school, to teach students about their heritage. Here is the school's director.

"We teach our students how our world view affects our studies and why our approach to life is important in school. For example, our ancestors have always told us that everything on earth has life - books, rocks, land, animals, trees. We tell our children that everything has life. But when our children share this with others people just laugh at them, so we want to teach our children that what we say is true even though others may not believe our ways. If we say things have life, they have life. If other people do not agree that is their belief, but we don't have to agree with them."

The students don't just learn their native culture's values, they also learn its language. We're listening to them sing "Ti Bix" or, "The Little Song", in Kaqchikel.

"But then again some of our own people want us to only teach Spanish, not Kaqchikel, because they say that Kaqchikel is an old language that is not important to us today. But we want interculturality here in our town and for that we need to speak Kaqchikel."

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.