French researcher wins highest award at Miyakojima dialect contest
July 18, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
The 22nd Miyakufutsu speech contest was held on July 12 at Matida Municipal Theater in Miyakojima.
Seven men and women from 27-year-olds to 66-year-olds performed their speeches on stage in Miyakufutu, the dialect of Miyakojima. With many stories of humor, the venue was filled with laughter.
Celik Kenan, a 27-year-old French researcher, who studies at Kyoto University Graduate School, won the Miyakojima Mayor’s Prize, the highest award.
Kenan gave a speech with the title, “the golden words spoken by elderly people in Miyakojima”.
He captured the audience and drew them into a whirl of laughter with his skillful pronunciation, and a humorous and important topic. It seemed almost unbelievable to local people that the foreigner has only been able to speak fluently in their dialect for just over a year. He has learned the dialect by listening to elderly people on the island where he moved from Kyoto and currently lives.
Last year, he received the Miyakojima City Cultural Association’s President’s Prize at the same event.
Kenan said with a smile; “My learning Miyakojima dialect for one year really paid off. I’m happy to be able to reward local people for their help.”
“I think Miyakojima dialect is suited to speaking. By using it, one can easily express pleasant meaning and nuance. I would like to learn more to be able to speak expressive and beautiful Miyakufutsu.
The speech contest is held annually to deepen understanding of the dialect, which forms the base of culture, and to share the richness of expression of Myakufutsu with the next generations.
Other winners are as follows: Superintendent Award of Education Board, Geoge Kakinohana, President Prize of City Cultural Association, Seikichi Shimoji, Miyako Mainichi Shimbun Prize, Katsunori Sunagawa, Miyako Shimpo Award, Atsushi Yonaha, Miyako TV Award, Yukiyo Tamayose, and President Prize of Miyakojima Tourism Association, Kumiko Kinoshita.
(English translation by T&CT)
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