Ethnic Cleansing in Indûng Kapampángan

The Kapampangan language is currently moribund since a lot of Kapampangan parents are no longer passing down their mother tongue to their children. Instead, they are raising their children to speak the dominant language, Filipino (Tagalog). When a language is moribund, it is already on the brink of extinction (Law, 2007).

Alâ yang sangkan ing Kapampángan para é ya mangapampángan king saríli nang Indûng Tíbûan, lálû na nung déng pengári na paréu lang Kapampángan. Maliári tá yang sangkánan ing iskuéla, ing gubiérnu at ing media king mumúna, dápot king katataulîan, déning pengáring é mánialítâng Kapampángan karing ának da ílang alâng patúgut sasálâ. Déning pengáring lílû at sukában a alâng pakamál king karélang pánga-Kapampángan ílang ngéning mákamate king Amánung Sísuan.

A Kapampangan has no excuse not to speak Kapampangan in his own homeland, especially if both his parents are Kapampangans. We can blame Philippine education, Philippine media and the government at first, but in the end, it is Kapampangan parents who are not passing down their native language to their children who are at fault. These unpatriotic parents who have no pride in their Kapampangan identity are now the ones killing the Kapampangan language.

Kapampangan parents give four reasons why they are raising their kids to become Tagalog instead of passing down their mother language:

  1. Lack of Prestige.
  2. No economic viability.
  3. Not the language of power and education.
  4. Not an intellectual language.

A public school principal decided to implement the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education program on the lower sections of her elementary school, saying that the Kapampangan language can only best serve the intellectually challenged students. People look down on their own language as the language of the uneducated and the intellectually challenged. Why? In the end, these are nothing but excuses and not reasons. The real reasons as one advocate pointed out are laziness, ignorance and mediocrity.

Patié pété mé ing pánga-Kapampángan na ning Kapampángan, pété mu né rin ing Kapampángan kasi é né kanita Kapampángan. Dále, sabian mu kanáku ngéning alâng maliliáring ethnic cleansing kéti Kapampángan.

If you kill the Kapampangan-ness of the Kapampangan, then you are already killing the Kapampangan. Kapampangans are currently being ethnically cleansed within their own homelands. Worse, it is the parents who now perpetrate it. Although it is not bloody and non-violent, it does not make it morally right.


Further Reading:

Krauss, Michael. (1992). The world’s languages in crisis. In Language 68: 1 (1992): 4-10.

Law, Philippa. (2007). Language Ecology. In BBC Voices.

Lewis, M. Paul(2006). Towards a Categorization of Endangerment of the World’s Languages. SIL Electronic Working Papers 2006-002, 31 p.

Pangilinan, Michael R.M. (2009). Kapampangan lexical borrowing from Tagalog: endangerment rather than enrichment. 11th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics (11 ICAL), 2009 June 21 – 25, Aussois, France. PDF download at 11ical_Pangilinan_Lexical-Borrowing-from-Tagalog

© Copyright 2012 Siuálâ Ding Meángûbié

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