Language, culture, ethnicity, land, philosophy - an indivisible unity?
From an email chat 4 January 2007 with Dr. Mahendra Kumar Mishra, director of a large project in Orissa, India, preparing materials and curricula and training Indigenous teachers to teach Indigenous (tribal) children through the medium of their mother tongues, starting in April 2007:
Mahendra: ”It is the Indian constitution that promotes education of tribals [Indigenous peoples] in MT [the Mother Tongue] and no tribal people know this. Now the awareness is gradually rising among the tribals. They fight for the land and now for language, since land and language and ethnicity has one name. “Saora” is a ethnic group; they are found in Saoraland and they speak Saora language. Land-and-language is signifier of tribal identity. I attach a paper on tribal worldview in which language plays a major role in signifying the land, the ethnicity and the philosophy of life as they see it.”