In this documentary video, Kireni Sparks-Ngenge, an inspiring young Melanesian woman, presents a discussion on the importance of indigenous languages, making the connection between experiences of language loss from a First Nations tribe in Canada and within communities in Melanesia.

The video is thought-provoking and offers encouragement to fellow Melanesians to believe in the power of their vernacular languages, and continue speaking and teaching them to their children.

View the video here or via the Further Arts YouTube Channel

Holem Taet Lanwis [Bislama]

Halo, nem blong mi hem i Kireni Sparks-Ngenge.

Papa blong mi kamaot long Lou Aelan long Manus Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Mi bon long PNG mo mi bikwan long PNG mo Vanuatu.

Mi stap visitim aelan blong mi long PNG evritaem mo mi mekem vidio ia from se mi wari long lanwis blong aelan blo mi, Lou, hem i stap go daon – fulap mama papa no mo stap lanwis long ol pikinini blong olgeta.

Holem Taet Lanwis i wantem leftemap tingting blong yumi long ol aelan blo yumi mo long ol narafala ples long Melenisia blong yumi mas lukaotem ol lanwis blong yumi mo pasem olgeta i go long ol pikinini blong yumi.

Insaed long vidio ia bae yumi harem storian blong ol Cowichan, wan traeb blong ol manples long Canada we klosap lanwis blong olgeta i lus. Wanem toktok nao bae ol Cowichan oli wantem pasem long yumi long saed blong lanwis?

Vidio ia i lukluk long ol tingting raonem lanwis: from wanem ol lanwis blong yumi oli impoten, olsem wanem lanwis hem i konekt wetem kastom graon blong yumi mo helpem yumi blong holem taet graon blong yumi, olsem wanem wan lanwis i save lus, mo olsem wanem nao bae yumi holem taet lanwis.

Bae yu luk long vidio ia, hem i no wan had samting blong holem taet lanwis blong yumi: rot blong mekem hem i blong toktok nomo long ol lanwis blong yumi.

Mi hop se vidio ia bae i helpem yumi evriwan we yumi wajem blong yumi Holem Taet Lanwis.

English translation

Hello, my name is Kireni Sparks-Ngenge. 

My father is from Lou Island in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG).  I was born in PNG and grew up living between PNG and Vanuatu. 

I also always visited Lou Island and I have made this video because I am concerned that my island’s indigenous language is on the dangerous path towards becoming endangered – many parents are no longer speaking the language to their children. 

Holim Pas Tok Ples wants to motivate the people of Lou Island and other parts of Melanesia to protect our languages and continue to pass them on to our children. 

In this video, you will learn the story of the Cowichan people, a First Nations tribe in Canada, whose indigenous language is seriously endangered. What message will the Cowichan people give to us about the importance of our indigenous languages? 

This video discusses various issues concerning our languages: why our languages are important, how our languages connect us with our customary lands and help us to hold on to our land, how a language can die, and how we can keep our languages alive.

As you will learn from this video, it is not hard to keep our languages alive: we only need to continue to speak our languages. 

I hope this video helps inspire all who watch it to keep our languages alive.