Saturday, September 23, 2006

Malaysian Says Indigenous Face Similar Struggles Worldwide

The Sámi people have a special situation says Dajak Lutheran

William Loh from the Basel Christian Church of Malaysia is clear in his message: “The LWF should be more concrete in actions that are needed to promote the living conditions of indigenous people. We face the same struggle world wide,” says Loh speaking at the Karasjok consultation.

Loh knows what it feels to belong to a cultural minority.
He belongs to a group of Dajaks, one of 64 groups of indigenous people in Malaysia.

He says the task is to keep the own tradition but at the same time to live peacefully and respectfully with others.

“We understand this situation in our every day lives. You should be able to pass your culture, identity and language to the next generation,” he notes, stressing that this does not mean closing the door on others.

“Our children have to learn other languages,” he acknowledges, noting they need to be receptive to the world around them.

In Karasjok, the purpose of the conference has been to discuss the concerns and challenges confronting indigenous peoples in different parts of the world today.

Loh, who is normally vivacious, contemplates deeply when asked what is the next step.

“I salute the Sámi people. They have an extraordinary situation.”

Les indigènes rencontrent des situations similaires à travers le monde.

William Loh, du peuple Dajak, membre de l'Église chrétienne de Bâle en Malaysie, la FLM devrait s'engager dans des actions plus concrètes en faveur des peuples indigènes, "tout autour du monde nous sommes engagés dans le même combat."

La tâche pour chaque peuple est de transmettre sa culture à la génération suivante, tout en lui permettant de s'ouvrir aux autres : "Nos enfants doivent apprendre d'autres langues."


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