3rd Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultation
5-8 May 2005
By Lolit Hafner
My opinion in answer to the above question is related to my report before on bicultural marriage.
Since cultural practices are made meaningful with the use of own language, I believe teaching our younger generation to speak and understand our dialects is important. Inability to communicate in the vernacular will limit access to our Igorot culture since our literatures are mostly orally passed from generation to generation (rhymes, chants, legends, fables, songs and stories). Teaching them to speak in the dialect doesn’t need to compete with their formal education. It can start from nursery level and would develop as they grow up hearing the pure language at home. This may be in form of bedtime stories on Igorot legends, fables, suitable stories of childhood experiences on how we lived back home in our communities or traditional practices. This can be followed by some written documentations or books about Igorot culture. Having knowledge of some backgrounds about our culture, they will be the ones asking more questions as they grow up or get exposed during their immersion in ourilis.
As I have previously written, knowing the language helps to access to the culture. It is therefore our responsibility to teach our children our language as one way of passing part of our Igorot culture we hold dear.