Considering the fact that it took me ages to come up with this title, I am quite miffed that it still doesn’t convey my exact thoughts. You just have to keep reading to find out. Basically, I started reading Dan Brown’s Inferno sometime this week and I finished it on The International Mother Language Day (i.e February 21st). I read two articles with this Day as their subject matter, and I decided to start my own little campaign.
At this point, you are probably wondering what connection lies between the Inferno and the International Mother Language Day. Actually, there is really no connection. I am just trying to make a point. So, here it goes. After reading that book, I actually learnt a lot of historical facts about the cities in which the story was set. I was able to identify some landmarks, monuments and cultural icons as well. And then I thought about Nigeria, and how sad it is that most of our cultural heritages are not being preserved and maintained. It must also be remembered that they are an important aspect of tourism, which can be a source of revenue for the State. However, we are too busy exploiting oil that every other thing must take second place. Children should be taught about them, there should be incentives to invest in the tourism business, and there should also be incentives for families to go for vacation in the country amongst other things. Incentives are in addition to the basic infrastructures, which unfortunately are lacking in the country.
Cultural heritages could also be intangible, and this is where the International Mother Language Day comes in. According to the UNESCO, languages are powerful instruments in preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. Sadly, but truly, the erosion of our cultural heritage is very much evident in our native languages. We all must take a stand to preserve our heritage. They belong to us. Speaking your own language doesn’t make you ‘razz’. Eating indigenous dishes doesn’t make you “local”, and our traditional attires are not meant for only weddings and naming ceremonies. Let us take a stand today
P.S This post is kinda belated…