Languages Disappear When We Forget About Them

Why I stand with those upholding language representativity in legislatures from Canada’s First Nations to the Portuguese rural hinterlands

Rui Alves
The Political Prism

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A young girl is writing on the blackboard in class.
Photo by Nikhita S on Unsplash

I have no political affiliation, I’ve never been outspoken about who I vote for, and no one can say if I lean right or left.

Nevertheless, in 2021, I joined an independent movement of citizens who ran for the local elections in Portugal and I was elected as a member of the town’s council.

I have no political ambitions; I only agreed to be on the list because our small citizens’ guild had “Independent” in the name. We had no funding flowing from anywhere else but our own pockets, as this was a non-negotiable condition for me to pursue my ideals.

I’m a linguist by heart with a degree to back it up. So, for the past three years, I have been rather vocal about our unique cultural traditions and ancestral heritage here in our small corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

Linguistic preservation can feel like Prometheus climbing up the hill, but now and then, I feel I’m not alone in the fight, and I find echoes beyond my “Stone Raft" anchored at the western tip of Europe, as Saramago used to call it.

Lawmaker steps up for…

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Rui Alves
The Political Prism

Language teacher, linguist, life coach, published author (joined the Army and worked for the EU). A publisher, digital ronin, musician and alchemist of sound.