Many people has an image of Eskimo in northern Alaska like rustic and good people who run old-fashioned living but in the reality, young people are alcoholic and most families have low-income living on food distribution tickets.
Even though it is a village with a population of around 300 people, one or two children under junior high school age committed suicide every year. The young man who left to the urban area committed a crime and ended up in prison. Although the high school student of the village entered urban university, he dropped out. It is truly miserable.
These happened because they lost their culture.
Eskimo used to have their own language. But now, most of them only speak English. Only a few elderly people in Eastern Alaska speak it. English culture came in as the number of Eskimos speaking English in the village increased. Today, even in the village of Eskimo, you can see satellite broadcasts showing dozens of channels in each houses.
Also, as English comes into the village, values of the white world come in. A good skillful hunter was the subject of respect when the old seniors were children. For their grandchildren, the admiration is a popular singer or athlete who they watch on TV.
Furthermore, white people also came into the village. Now all the influential people such as village chief, school teacher and manager of only one shop in village are white people.
It is difficult for children and young people to embrace their dreams with such kind of emotion. They are not satisfied with the life in the village, and there is nobody who have gone to a white society and have had some success.
With this, it seems that the future is completely dark, and we can understand that the number of suicide and alcohol addictive increase. Following these causes leads to the fact that they began to speak English.
Parents would have expected that children would be able to speak English and gain economic success. Children would have thought that they could be active in a wider world without continuing to stay in the village if they could speak English.
However, that expectation was not realized in most cases. As a result of the ability to speak English, the village became dominated by white and white culture and the situation was only worse.
This is happening everywhere in the world. Languages are disappearing all over the world. Because ethnic minorities are switching from their languages to large languages including English. However, there are many things that become unhappier rather than happier after switching.
It seems that the whole Japanese society is trying to intimidate people to be able to speak English. They have no choice. At university, classes conducted in English are increasing. In job hunting activities, you will be asked about English exam scores. Even in the news, I hear such topics frequently, such as introducing English to primary schools, making it a curriculum starting school year ahead of schedule.
“We have to be able to speak English.” “There is something good only if we can speak English.” Didn’t everyone think so? If so, the current society’s goal to speak English is a society dominated by others, like minority ethnic groups around the world that began to speak English.
People would say it’s wrong to compare Japan with other minority ethnic groups because they still speak Japanese. Well, there is no big difference. Lose it or not, it the same from the perspective that the language barrier disappears.
Many Japanese people unconsciously try to overlap themselves with the United States when they think of being able to speak English, but in fact they should try to overlap with Asian countries that now they speak English.
They need to rethink about English from the perspective of English imperialism as well.
Thank you for reading.
【To be continued】