Shimakutuba Contest held

Shimakutuba Contest held

On September 9, at Ryukyu Shimpo Hall in Izumisaki, Naha, speakers received a Shimakutuba Certificate from Shinsho Miyara, the president of Naha Cultural Association Uchinaguchi Division.

September 10, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On September 9, at the Ryukyu Shimpo Hall in Izumisaki, Naha, the Shimajima nu Kutuba Katayabira Taikai was held by speakers from six regions. The event was hosted by the Naha Cultural Association and was co-hosted by the Okinawa Language Dissemination Association, the Okinawa Prefectural Uchinaguchi Association, Radio Okinawa, and Ryukyu Shimpo. Eleven participants from communities on the main island of Okinawa and the neighboring islands gave speeches in their local languages.

This was held as a pre-event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Naha Cultural Association and the 120th anniversary of the establishment of the Ryukyu Shimpo, and was planned with assistance from the Naha Community Development Division. More than 400 people came to listen to the unique speeches delivered with a sense of culture from communities in places such as Okinawa Island, Miyako, Yaeyama, and Tokunoshima.

In his speech, Kota Agarie from Izena Junior High School said in his local language, “I want to be like King Shoen (who was from Izena Island).” After his speech, he said, “The number of Izena language speakers is decreasing. I want to be able talk to my grandma and to learn more of the language.” Agarie also went on to say how he was impressed with the impact of the Miyako language.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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