- Rising Voices - https://rising.globalvoices.org -

Q&A: Meet Tumi Tanakyuwan, Thau language activist

Categories: @AsiaLangsOnline, Indigenous, Languages, Social Media
Language activist Tumi Tanakyuwan, setting up a display of necklaces on the street.

Picture provided by Tumi Tanakyuwan.

Following last year's successful social media campaign [1] celebrating linguistic diversity online throughout Asia, the collaborative project is continuing in 2020. Every week, a different language activist and advocate will be taking turns managing the @AsiaLangsOnline [2] Twitter account to share their experiences, best practices, and lessons learned from their revitalization work promoting the use of their native languages, with a special focus on the role of the internet. This campaign is a collaboration between Rising Voices [3], the Digital Empowerment Foundation [4], and the O Foundation [5].

Each week, the upcoming host will answer several questions about their background and give a brief overview of their language. This Q&A is with Tumi Tanakyuwan (@TumiTanakyuwan [6]) from Taiwan who will provide a sneak preview of what she will be discussing during her week as host.

Rising Voices (RV): Please tell us about yourself.

Tumi Tanakyuwan (TT): Hello everyone my name is Tumi, my tribe is Ita Thau tribe and we speak Thau language [7]. I am learning this language from my father and teacher Hudun. My tribe started a language preservation plan in 2013, which was interrupted for a while, but in 2018 we restarted it. Now we have one full-time teacher and two full-time students learning the language and preparing to become Thau language teachers.

RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?

TT: We share the vocabulary, some traditional stories and real life stories on Facebook. Offline, we have a radio broadcast in our language.

RV: What topics do you plan to focus on during the week that you’ll manage the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account?

TT: I want to share our traditional stories and [talk about] a traditional festival which is hosted in summer time.

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

TT: I want let people know about my ethnic group and our language, which is very beautiful and precious. I hope this year I can obtain an advanced certification in Thau language and become a Thau storyteller.