Imagine the response from other ethnic nations within Lugard’s borders if all the road signs in Lagos were written in Yoruba language!  We would have Tiiti Awolowo instead of Awolowo Road,  Afárá Carter instead of Carter Bridge , and Erékùşù Victoria  (Victoria Island), for example. …….And lots of disgruntled Lagos  residents of  SE and SS origins, Lol.

But progressive folks around the world are going to this length of writing street signs in their dying indigenous language and many similar  efforts  in order to resurrect their mother tongue.

Kola Tubosun went to Ostana, a small town in Italy pushing to preserve their own local language of Occitan and tells of his observations there, and the very positive message this small community sends to the rest of the world.

 

Ostana , Italy, recently welcome its first newborn child in 28 years
Ostana , Italy, recently welcome its first newborn child in 28 years

 

Ostana is a border town with only 74 inhabitants.

“Over time, as the nation of France and Italy formed a stronger national identity, they imposed an artificial border that divided Occitania into two, one part staying in France and the other in Italy. And over time, the influence of the stronger languages and cultures began to intrude until Occitan became just an endangered minority language needing protection.”

Sounds familiar. Unlike some though, the Ostana community are putting up a good “David & Goliath” fight to preserve their language, and the difference within thirty years is commendable. Yorubas should listen and learn.

The full article “Lingua Fracas As A Positive Experience” of  Kola Tubosun’s trip to receive a prize from   “a small community organisation that has, for eight years, organised cultural and literary art activities in celebration of the language of the region, Occitan, and other minority languages of the world.” is here .

Kola Tubosun stands out as the Asiwaju (trailblazer) for the revival of the Yoruba language .

www.yorubaname. com is his brainchild . He’s also a successful author .

Kola Tubosun
Kola Tubosun

 

Special thanks to NL and PT  for bridge and island Yoruba word translations. hides face in shame

 

PS: roundabout is Orita in Yoruba (EDIT)

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