RAPA NUI CHILDREN LOSING NATIVE TONGUE

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 4) – The indigenous people of remote Rapa Nui - also known as Easter Island - say they're struggling to keep their culture alive.

They say that, with the influence of Spanish-language television, fewer and fewer children are speaking their native tongue.

Though Rapa Nui is still spoken widely across the island, only around a third of children can speak it well.

Easter Island is still governed by Chile and most TV and radio on the island is in Spanish. The local Rapa Nui, who make up about half of the island's 4,000 population, say more needs to be done to keep their culture alive.

The Rapa Nui have many similarities with New Zealand's Maoris.

April 4, 2005

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

 

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