SABBATICAL NOTES. 23 JUNE 2014. MONDAY. N3.
Linguistic asymmetry, the Philippine case.
WHAT IS HAPPENING in the Philippines is this, and let us say it: many people are forced to learn one or two languages, but some other people are not at all required by the educational apparatus of the state to know something beyond what they already know in the language or languages they were born into.
This is a clear case of linguistic asymmetry.
Every Tomas, Diko, and Hari is made to learn Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino but no one from the language community of Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino is ever required to know something in Hiligaynon or Cebuano as mediated by Hiligaynon and Cebuano.
The majority of the educatees of the Philippines go through the same ceremony and rite and ritual of doing the same thing, of knowing others, and never their own.
We call this funny case an education in Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino nationalism, but never a real case of nationalism that takes into account the diversity of peoples, languages, and cultures in the Philippines.
It is hard to be educated in diversity when all we have known and understood is nationalism in a singular language.
To accept diversity as our approach to the issue of national building and state crafting is to admit with humility that we made a mistake, and this mistake has been going on and on for so long.
To accept that we are multiple is to understand that we can exploit this multiplicity and make this country great, and it will be great because it can afford to show the world that various peoples and communities and cultures, like the variety of things in nature and in the world, can exist together in peace, and they can exist together in peace because that peace is grounded on justice.