[lg policy] lgpolicy-list Digest, Vol 121, Issue 12

Ramanujam Meganathan kankoduthavanithan at gmail.com
Tue May 14 22:20:21 EDT 2019


Please post this article on student suicides in India
https://countercurrents.org/2019/05/an-education-that-kills


*R  Meganathan*
Associate Professor of Language Education
Department of Education in Languages
National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi  110016
Mob: 09968651815

On Tue, May 14, 2019 at 9:08 PM <lgpolicy-list-request at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. (no subject) (Harold Schiffman)
>    2. A Mennonite town in Kyrgyzstan (Harold Schiffman)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 13 May 2019 12:08:43 -0400
> From: Harold Schiffman <haroldfs at gmail.com>
> To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
> Subject: [lg policy] (no subject)
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>
> *I'm Flattered Ghana Considering French As 2nd Language ? Ambassador   *
>
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>
> The French ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Anne Sophie AV?, has said she is
> flattered by President Nana Akufo-Addo?s consideration of French as a
> second language for Ghana.
>
> In March this year, Ghana?s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional
> Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said the decision by the
> anglophone West African country to use French as a second language was a
> major concern of the government of Ghana, in line with national priorities.
>
> She reiterated plans by the Ghanaian government to include the promotion of
> the learning of French in basic schools and across all other levels of
> learning, as part of a general reform of Ghana?s education sector.
>
> Addressing the opening session of the 2019 La Francophonie week in the
> Ghanaian capital, Accra, themed: ?Say it in French...please?, Ms Botchwey,
> at the time, said Ghana signed the Linguistic Pact with La Francophonie for
> improved technical support and capacity building for the teaching and
> learning of French in 2018.
>
> A move, which, she said, marked the start of a historical process, aimed at
> improving regional integration through the development of the French
> language across the country.
>
> ?We believe that the extensive teaching and learning of French will inure
> to the benefit of Ghana as we are bordered by three Francophone countries;
> namely, Togo, Burkina Faso and La Cote d?Ivoire?, the Foreign Affairs
> Minister stressed.
>
> She intimated that prioritising the French language in Ghana has become
> even more necessary now so as to further enhance relations for better
> cooperation at all levels with the country?s Francophone partners.
>
> According to her, the government?s strong participation in this year?s
> Francophonie week celebrations also lends credence to the continued desire
> of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for Ghana to become a full Member
> of La Francophonie, since becoming an Associate Member in 2006.
>
> She recalled President Akufo-Addo?s bold commitment at the last Summit of
> the La Francophonie held in Erevan, Armenia, in October 2018 to the
> organisation.
>
> ?To that end, the President has appointed a Senior Presidential Staffer and
> French scholar, Dr Stephen Adawen Syme, as the Focal Person for the
> coordination of La Francophonie activities in Ghana to ensure a seamless
> transition?, Ms Botchwey told the gathering.
>
> Speaking on *Accra FM* Thursday, 9 May 2019 about the move, the French
> ambassador said: ?[Nana Akufo-Addo] is the president, so, he can make the
> policy he wants. I can only say I?m flattered and I think it?s great, and I
> can help. If he had made Spanish a second language, there?s not much France
> could do about it, so, at least, we?ll just accompany this policy and try
> and help as much as we can, sharing this national treasure that is French.?
>
> According to AV?, Ghanaians should view the president?s initiative as a way
> of putting them on a higher pedestal since the majority of countries in the
> West African sub-region are French-speaking countries.
>
> ?In France, English is highly recommended, so, it is not completely
> compulsory, but if you don?t speak English, it will be hard to get a job,
> if you do not have a second language?, she said, adding: ?I don?t think the
> Ghanaian should look at it as one more compulsory or constraint or
> something that they have to. He?s just bringing you on a tray an asset, a
> plus that will make you an even stronger country in the sub-region ? that
> is the majority of the people in the sub-region are speaking French.
>
> The ambassador also stated that the Ghanaian can only learn to speak French
> when they feel the need to learn to speak it.
>
> ?The more French you listen to, through television, through the radio, the
> more interested you are, and then you feel like it. You don?t teach
> something that people don?t want to learn, so, if they want to, they need
> to feel the need for it.
>
> ?That?s why I?m trying hopelessly to learn some Twi?, the French ambassador
> said, adding: ?Well, my Twi is awful. I want to learn to add that to my
> curriculum, I?m trying because I want to be respectful to the people, to be
> able to say a few words in Twi, so, it?s definitely the need of it that
> motivates you.?
>
> Concerning her acclimatisation to Ghana, Ms AV? said her preferred Ghanaian
> dish is plantain and palava sauce.
>
> ?I love Ghanaian dishes but I must say I?m very keen on palava sauce. It?s
> all about palava sauce and plantain. If you want to make me happy, ask my
> friend, she?s Ghanaian, she?s fantastic and she makes the most amazing
> dishes. She can cook French and she cooks Ghanaian but I love your stews
> but I think I really, I could die for palava sauce?, she told host Nana
> Romeo.
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
>
>  Harold F. Schiffman
>
> Professor Emeritus of
>  Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
> Dept. of South Asia Studies
> University of Pennsylvania
> Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
>
> Phone:  (215) 898-7475
> Fax:  (215) 573-2138
>
> Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
> http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/
>
> -------------------------------------------------
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 14 May 2019 11:37:39 -0400
> From: Harold Schiffman <haroldfs at gmail.com>
> To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
> Subject: [lg policy] A Mennonite town in Kyrgyzstan
> Message-ID:
>         <CACqQ=
> kK8qoYDEN8QoFCjy+mYtmt1f8NKO9OQF4rmmWqVJGfy6g at mail.gmail.com>
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>
> A Mennonite Town in Muslim Central Asia Holds On Against the Odds
> The Mennonite prayer hall in Rot Front, or Red Front, Kyrgyzstan, the
> easternmost outpost of the Mennonite exodus from Europe.CreditMaxime Fossat
> for The New York Times
> Image
> The Mennonite prayer hall in Rot Front, or Red Front, Kyrgyzstan, the
> easternmost outpost of the Mennonite exodus from Europe.CreditCreditMaxime
> Fossat for The New York Times
>
> By Andrew Higgins <https://www.nytimes.com/by/andrew-higgins>
>
>    - May 12, 2019
>    -
>       -
>       <
> https://www.facebook.com/dialog/feed?app_id=9869919170&link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2019%2F05%2F12%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Fkyrgyzstan-mennonites.html&smid=fb-share&name=A%20Mennonite%20Town%20in%20Muslim%20Central%20Asia%20Holds%20On%20Against%20the%20Odds&redirect_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F
> >
>       -
>       <
> https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fnyti.ms%2F2WEUftM&text=A%20Mennonite%20Town%20in%20Muslim%20Central%20Asia%20Holds%20On%20Against%20the%20Odds
> >
>       -
>
> <?subject=NYTimes.com%3A%20A%20Mennonite%20Town%20in%20Muslim%20Central%20Asia%20Holds%20On%20Against%20the%20Odds&body=From%20The%20New%20York%20Times%3A%0A%0AA%20Mennonite%20Town%20in%20Muslim%20Central%20Asia%20Holds%20On%20Against%20the%20Odds%0A%0AA%20community%20of%20Mennonites%20in%20Kyrgyzstan%20is%20one%20of%20Christendom%E2%80%99s%20most%20remote%20and%20oddest%20outposts%20in%20the%20Muslim%20world%2C%20as%20ethnic%20Germans%20cling%20to%20their%20faith%20even%20as%20emigration%20shrinks%20their%20numbers.%0A%0Ahttps%3A%2F%
> 2Fwww.nytimes.com
> %2F2019%2F05%2F12%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Fkyrgyzstan-mennonites.html>
>       -
>       -
>
> ROT FRONT, Kyrgyzstan ? Each Sunday morning, a rickety white bus wheezes
> down the main street of one of Christendom?s most remote and odd outposts
> in the Muslim world.
>
> The bus travels only a few hundred yards but continues a long, meandering
> journey begun nearly 500 years ago by German-speaking Mennonite Christians
> fleeing persecution in Europe. Having survived the fury of the Roman
> Catholic Church, the Russian empire and then the Soviet Union, their
> community today in Central Asia is small and shrinking but, against the
> odds, is still hanging on.
>
> Their principal stronghold here is the village of Rot Front, or Red Front,
> the Soviet-era name of a tidy, two-street settlement at the foot of the
> Tian Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan, a Muslim-majority nation of breathtaking
> natural beauty and deep poverty formed when the Soviet Union imploded in
> 1991.
> An old mini-bus takes the Mennonites to the prayer house for the Sunday
> morning service.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
> Image
> An old mini-bus takes the Mennonites to the prayer house for the Sunday
> morning service.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
>
> Rot Front, formerly known as Bergtal, or Mountain Valley, is the
> easternmost outpost of the Mennonite exodus from Europe, which also
> scattered believers westward to North and South America
>
> ADVERTISEMENT
>
> The German community in Rot Front lived for generations in a closed world ?
> entirely German-speaking, dominated by religion, fighting off modern
> intrusions like television. It is still wary of outsiders but, as residents
> began emigrating to Germany in the 1990s, and those left behind began using
> cellphones, interaction with the wider world has grown.
> You have 3 free articles remaining.
> Subscribe to The Times
> <
> https://www.nytimes.com/subscription/multiproduct/lp8PRPR.html?campaignId=7QW8R
> >
>
> Out of a village with more than 1,000 people, only 10 German families are
> left. The German bakery closed years ago and the local primary school
> dropped mandatory lessons in German. The teaching is now all done in Kyrgyz
> and Russian.
> Local Kyrgyz shepherds at the entrance to the village.CreditMaxime Fossat
> for The New York Times
> Image
> Local Kyrgyz shepherds at the entrance to the village.CreditMaxime Fossat
> for The New York Times
>
> But the Sunday morning bus helps keep alive the religious faith at the
> heart of the German residents.
>
> ADVERTISEMENT
>
> Driven by Nikolai Pauls, an ethnic German car mechanic whose 11 siblings
> have now nearly all left for Germany, the bus collects worshipers ? a mix
> of German Mennonites and Kyrgyz converts ? from outside their homes and
> deposits them at the village?s biggest building, a prayer hall decorated
> with biblical verses in archaic versions of both German and Russian,
> written in Gothic script.
>
> Irina Pauls, the bus driver?s wife and a singer in the church choir, said
> she and her husband had planned to move years ago for Germany but stayed
> put because their five children did not want to leave their friends.
> A Canadian Christian purchased three houses built by Germans, setting up a
> shelter for Kyrgyz orphans.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
> Image
> A Canadian Christian purchased three houses built by Germans, setting up a
> shelter for Kyrgyz orphans.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
>
> Whether to leave, she said, ?is a very painful question.?
>
> She has often visited relatives in Germany, where nine of her own 11
> siblings now live, and admires German order and neatness. ?Here Kyrgyz
> people think we are crazy because we cut the grass,? she said.
>
> Three of her grown children have moved to Germany, and she worries about
> the marriage prospects of the two daughters still in Rot Front. Mennonites
> rarely marry outside their faith, and while German believers sometimes
> marry Kyrgyz converts, Ms. Pauls said she would like her children to marry
> fellow ethnic Germans.
>
> ?There is still a line between us,? Ms. Pauls, 56, said. ?The Germans are
> on this side, the Kyrgyz on the other.?
>
> KAZAKHSTAN
>
> Bishkek
>
> Rot
>
> Front
>
> TIAN SHAN
>
> MTS.
>
> UZBEK.
>
> KYRGYZSTAN
>
> CHINA
>
> TAJIKISTAN
>
> 200 MILES
>
> By The New York Times
>
> ADVERTISEMENT
>
> But finding a suitable spouse for her remaining children, she said, is
> growing increasingly difficult as emigration drains the pool of eligible
> grooms and brides who share her family?s faith and speak Plautdietsch, a
> dialect of Low German.
>
> The Mennonites and Amish both belong to the Anabaptist tradition, a
> reformation movement dating to the 1500s that rejected aspects of the
> established Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. They share a commitment
> to pacifism and simple living.
>
> The German Mennonites who settled in Kyrgyzstan started their journey east
> in the early 16th century from what is now the northern Netherlands.
> An ethnic Kyrgyz resident of Rot Front waited for the shuttle that will
> take her to Sunday service.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
> Image
> An ethnic Kyrgyz resident of Rot Front waited for the shuttle that will
> take her to Sunday service.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
>
> After settling first in West Prussia, now part of Poland, they moved on to
> Russian-controlled Ukraine in the 18th century, and then to Kyrgyzstan,
> settling first in the west and then on rich farmland in the Chuy Valley
> east of the capital, Bishkek.
>
> The original German names given their new settlements have mostly been
> lost. The German names that survive were imposed on towns by Moscow and
> given a Soviet slant, like Rot Front.
>
> Of the approximately 100,000 ethnic Germans who lived in Kyrgyzstan when
> the Soviet empire collapsed in 1991, only 8,300 remain.
>
> ADVERTISEMENT
> Old photographs of the Mennonite community in the basement of the prayer
> hall.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
> Image
> Old photographs of the Mennonite community in the basement of the prayer
> hall.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
>
> In Rot Front, the exodus to Germany has been accompanied by a wave of new
> arrivals, mostly Kyrgyz but also a few Westerners.
>
> A Canadian Christian purchased three houses built by Germans, setting up
> shelter for Kyrgyz orphans, a guesthouse and a farm.
>
> Wilhelm Lategahn, a non-Mennonite schoolteacher, came to Rot Front from
> Germany on a government program to promote the German language. He intended
> to stay a year or so but, nearly a decade later, is still here. He set up a
> small museum to honor the village?s fading German heritage.
> Ethnic German Mennonite youths in one of the two streets of the village.
> CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
> Image
> Ethnic German Mennonite youths in one of the two streets of the village.
> CreditMaxime Fossat for The New York Times
>
> At the prayer hall, built in 1987 after the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
> relaxed restrictions on religion, female worshipers sit on one side while
> their husbands, fathers and sons sit on the other.
>
> Germans and Kyrgyz mix constantly ? in prayer, at school and at work in the
> fields, where residents grow their food and raise cattle. They communicate
> mostly in Russian, the one language everyone speaks fluently.
>
> ADVERTISEMENT
>
> The village also has a mosque, but it is much smaller than the Mennonite
> prayer hall.
>
> After attending prayers on a recent Sunday, German and Kyrgyz children
> gamboled together along the main street, chattering away in Russian. Lotti
> Schmidt, 12, said she missed friends who had moved to Germany but still
> wanted her own family to stay in Rot Front.
> The choir rehearsing at the prayer hall.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New
> York Times
> Image
> The choir rehearsing at the prayer hall.CreditMaxime Fossat for The New
> York Times
>
> Even many of those who have left still come back regularly on visits.
>
> Adolf Koop, who moved to Germany in 2011, still keeps the house he and his
> wife built in 1958 in Rot Front and recently returned with a son and
> son-in-law to do some repairs.
>
> ?I get so bored in Germany,? he said. ?I miss all my friends here.?
>
> His memories of Rot Front, however, are not all rosy. His father, the head
> of the village?s early Soviet-era collective farm, was arrested and
> executed at the height of Stalin?s Great Terror in 1938.
>
> Nazi Germany?s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 turned ethnic Germans
> into enemies of the people. Much of Rot Front?s adult population was sent
> to labor camps, leaving German children to fend for themselves, often with
> help from local Kyrgyz, who sheltered and fed them in the mountains.
>
> The wartime experience broke down many of the cultural and language
> barriers that had previously separated ethnic Germans and the indigenous
> Kyrgyz population. It also made it difficult for Germans who survived the
> war in Rot Front to feel comfortable in Germany.
>
> Their offspring, too, can find life in Germany problematic.
>
> Andrej Keller, a 59-year-old ethnic German who was born and raised in Rot
> Front, said he had tried moving to Germany in 2011, but was unable to find
> a job and returned to his Kyrgyz village after just 18 months.
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> >
>
> ADVERTISEMENT
>
> He said he, like many others, had been seduced by the promise of an easy
> life in Europe.
>
> ?Everyone wants to drive a big car, a Mercedes, and eat fat sausages.? he
> said. ?But I was not used to big sausages. Life there was comfortable but I
> could not get used to it.
>
> ?The human needs very little to be satisfied,? he added. ?As my mother used
> to say: ?To be satisfied you need very little and who is satisfied is a
> king.? People never have enough of everything. You have to be happy where
> you live. If there is no war there, what more do you want??
>
> ?Germany is not our country,? he said. ?Our country is here where we were
> born, this is my home. Here I grew old.?
> A version of this article appears in print on May 13, 2019, on Page A4 of
> the New York edition with the headline: A Mennonite Outpost Clings to the
> Old (and Some New) Ways. Order Reprints <http://www.nytreprints.com/> |
> Today?s
> Paper <http://www.nytimes.com/pages/todayspaper/index.html> | Subscribe
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>
> --
> =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
>
>  Harold F. Schiffman
>
> Professor Emeritus of
>  Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
> Dept. of South Asia Studies
> University of Pennsylvania
> Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
>
> Phone:  (215) 898-7475
> Fax:  (215) 573-2138
>
> Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
> http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/
>
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-- 


*R  Meganathan*
Department of Education in Languages
National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi  110016
Mob: 09968651815
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