We spent half of the day at Cajola today. This is a tranquil and peaceful town because the police has left the there after the assassination of 14 police in 1982. The Cajola people successfully demonstrated their bravery in presenting their dignity and anger to the authorities, in which diminished the negative consequences brought by the war. However, the town has had a high rate of migration and a low return of the educated young adults meanwhile.
Eli, the speaker, expressed his passion in restoring the loss of culture and dialect within Cajola. Given many town members have left Cajola for years, majority of them have forgotten the language, or, refused to speak their dialect. Understanding the current situation in Cojala, I feel fortunate that I never have to work hard to keep up with my dialect, Cantonese. Because of Hong Kong’s geographic location, Cantonese has become one of the most common languages spoken when doing business. In fact, it is more commonly spoken than Mandarin in many of the international countries. Therefore, even when many Chinese do not speak Cantonese, they attempt to understand the language and the writing (traditional chinese is different than simplified chinese). Due to such reason, all students are obligated to learn Cantonese at schools in Hong Kong.
Thinking back to the colonial history, I feel fortunate that the British did not change Hong Kong’s official language to English, in comparison to the Guatemalans who were under the society pressure to only speak in Spanish. In fact, after talking to the teachers who teach Maya Mam, I have more gratitude to my parents and teachers who have taught me my native language. Cantonese is a representation of my identity and I will not let the future generation to forget it.