As Brazil Adopts Yoruba Language as one of its official Languages…



By Yemi Olakitan
Reports have revealed that the Brazilian government has given the
Yoruba language a special place in the country. Minister of Culture,
Dr Sérgio Sá leitão, recently announced that government has introduced
the compulsory study of African History and Yoruba language into the
primary and secondary schools curriculum.

He was speaking during a lecture organized by the Institute of African
Studies, University of Sao Paulo on the importance of Yoruba language
in the Brazilian culture and tradition.  According to him, the
inclusion of African History and Yoruba Language in the country’s
curriculum will help bring the closeness of the African Brazilian
people to their roots. He said it will also encourage the
understanding of the language among in Brazil alongside Portuguese,
which is the major official language in the country.

Historical reports say, the Brazilian people have their origin in
Yoruba land where they were forcefully taken and transported to Brazil
during the trans Atlantic slave trade. Originally, the Yoruba people
are an ethnic group of southwestern and north-central Nigeria, as well
as southern and central Benin at almost 40 million people in total.
During the slave Trade, the Yoruba people were transported to
countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Saint Lucia,
Jamaica, and Brazil.  They went with their music, dance, religion,
cuisine and Yoruba language. These have influenced the native people
of those places immensely.

The minster said, “Most of the cultures and traditions in evidence in
Brazil are all of the heritages brought along to the Latin American
country by the majority Yoruba families, victims of the BARCO
NEGREIROS, the NEGRO BOAT that forcefully brought the enslaved West
Africans to Brazil in the 13th century.
Yoruba traditional religion today comes after the Catholic practices
as the most evolving religious practices in the South America today.
Several houses of worships called “ILE ASE” are having the Yoruba
culture, tradition and language as official, whenever the cults are
declared open for the day. Babalawo, Iyalawo, Omo Awo, and Aborisa are
all common Yoruba usages in the practice of the Yoruba religion called
Candomblé in Brazil.
In a chat with Depo Ladipo, theater Artists and culture activist, ‘It
is time for Nigerians to take their languages seriously. What we have
today is that young people cannot speak our languages correctly. We
have become mentally and culturally colonized. If Brazil can take
Yoruba language so seriously, it speaks poorly on Nigerian leaders who
do not place equal significance on our languages.
Speaking further, Ladipo said, ‘‘our languages are our identity.
English Language is a foreign language, no matter how high we place it
above our own languages. Listen to our radio stations when they speak
Yoruba language, our broadcasters speak what I call, Yoruba mixed with
English. They can’t speak the language well anymore. Our languages are
dying and we need to wake up.
He commended the Lagos state Government under Governor Akinwunmi
Ambode who recently signed into law a bill enforcing compulsory Yoruba
language teaching in our primary and secondary schools. I hope other
state Governors will follow in his steps by recognizing Igbo and Hausa
languages in our various states,’ he said.
As Brazil Adopts Yoruba Language as one of its official Languages… As Brazil Adopts Yoruba Language as one of its official Languages… Reviewed by Lorine Wyman on November 21, 2018 Rating: 5

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