Myanmar is home to over 135 ethnic groups, and their spoken and written languages are the cultural treasures of our country.
The ethnic languages are also the intangible culture of our country. Therefore, the languages should be treated equally and respectfully; they should be cherished, scientifically protected, and fully utilized.
Today, it is found that ethnic languages speaking are decreasing even in respective ethnic areas, and this situation has shown that some languages are in danger.
We have seen some improvements in dealing with this situation thanks to the cooperation between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of National Races Affairs in recent years.
Still, there are gaps between the salaries of the ethnic language teachers and those of teachers of the Ministry of Education. Bridging this gap is one of the remedies for encouraging the speaking and writing of ethnic languages in ethnic areas. When it comes to appointing ethnic language teachers and assistants, priority must be given to local ethnic people, and their salaries must be increased. Not only the Ministry of National Races Affairs but also the Ministry of Education should seek ways possible to support ethnic language teachers and assistants nationwide.
As article 22 of the 2008 Constitution guarantees to encourage the ethnic languages, literature and culture, we need to create opportunities to continue speaking and writing their mother languages,
As article 22 of the 2008 Constitution guarantees to encourage the ethnic languages, literature and culture, we need to create opportunities to continue speaking and writing their mother languages, which indirectly means being part of a living culture and community.
A language represents a community’s culture, history, kinship and patrimony. In other words, language and ethnicity are closely connected, and thus, the continuous use of mother languages evokes a sense of belonging to the community.
These are the important reasons why we are committed to encouraging ethnic languages.
Mother languages are usually lost because many will switch to a common language for communication when inter-ethnic marriage or migration takes place. These are natural.
Due to our geographical location, our country is located between the countries with huge populations, and their culture and language can influence our communities.
For those living in rural areas, the loss of their languages indicates the loss of identity and life.
Therefore, it is crucial to encourage the speaking of mother languages.