A total of 193 students from the ‘Juan Cupul’ primary school south of Mérida, paid tribute to the flag and sang the Mexican National Anthem in Maya language.
“When the whole school sings, there is a special appreciation of our culture, that comes with our mother tongue, the language of the ancestors,” said Adrián Castillo, director of the school ‘Juan Cupul’.
In the Maya indigenous schools of Yucatan it is official to sing the National Anthem and perform the oath to the flag in Maya, the second most spoken indigenous language in Mexico after Nahuatl.
“We must spread our culture, promote it, so that it continues to live. The Maya language must survive and prevail in Yucatan,” said Rosario Cetina, representative of the Institute for the Development of the Maya Culture.
50,000 indigenous students, from more than 1,000 schools, have training programs to sing with the proper grammatical rules.
“They manage to understand those small dialogues, many of these students do not speak Maya fluently, but they do understand what we are saying, so they need to practice the language” said Carlos Dzul, bilingual teacher.
“It is difficult for the children, since, despite being in schools with bilingual education, the language that predominates is Spanish. I do not have anyone in my family who speaks Maya, my grandmother speaks, but just a little,” said Sara, an elementary school student.
“I feel like I’ve learned more Maya lately, and it is a very beautiful language, although it’s very difficult to learn” explained Carla Carranza, another student.
The Institute for the Development of the Maya Culture, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, point out that the intonation of the National Anthem in this language aims to preserve the mother tongue, to value national symbols and promote that young people do not feel discriminated when speaking it .
The process of teaching and practice will be gradual, currently 1,680 of more than 22,000 teachers in Yucatan speak Maya and 450 of the know hoy to write it.