Ways to Protect the Richness of Languages and Cultures

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In the Ted talk, Wade Davis discusses the topic Dreams from Endangered Cultures. The topic is an incredibly informational one as well as educative. It highlights the plight and dreams of the many cultures that are almost becoming extinct. Like Kent Lewis, in his introduction Word and World, Davis (2003) recognises the importance of having an ethosphere which is a world full of collections of cultures and languages. This world is important to humanity as it helps in solving many issues. Thus, there are ways we can work to protect the richness of this languages and cultures.

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One of the ways is by raising awareness of the existence and many contributions of the endangered languages and cultures. This can be done either individually, groups or even through international bodies like UN and UNESCO. International days for this awareness should be set aside to educate and urge the people around the globe to recognize the rights of endangered people in controlling their intellectual property.

Another way is the inclusion of new and specific legal systems in implementing the adequate protection of the endangered peoples rights. Different bodies have emerged to give hope in international laws that protect such languages and cultures. They include Intellectual property rights (IPR), UNESCO and UN. They will deal with human rights, environmental protection, labor rights and cultural heritage protection. They should also emphasize on the establishment of appropriate agreements for better utilization of the knowledge, practises and innovations acquired from such people. Lastly, establishing a more general framework for the protection of the languages and cultures will offer opportunities for a deeper reflection on nature and the quest for knowledge and the relationships between duties and rights.

Davis et al (2003) also talks about the work of Leslie Marmon Silko in attempting to bring together disparate times and traditions. Leslies story lullaby talks about an old Indian woman Ayah, the main character who angry with the white figures. She is in her later years and reminiscing about the most tragic events in her life. All of them seem to have been brought about by the intrusions of white figures in authority in her home. This brings conflict between her traditions and the white figures beliefs (Marmon, 2003). They distract her ways of living when her son Jamie is killed while serving the country, they take her children Danny and Ella, and her husband Chato is exploited by his white employer. This plays the role of teaching the reader and society on how to relate with others, history, and land as a way of promoting balance in life.

In the early 21st century, bringing together tradition through storytelling is not emphasized in great extent. In fact, storytelling is not an eminent thing. The emergence of the internet has taken the time and innovation of people especially the young generation as they have become dependent on it and have no time for reading stories. However, new ways have emerged to help solve this issue like storytelling performance in the theatre. Also, schools have been taken steps to encourage the reading culture and the act of storytelling. All this will help the listeners and readers to relate to the stories and learn, advocate and preserving these traditions.

In conclusion, Davis Ted talk play a very big role in educating people on other ways of seeing and learning traditions through storytelling. Also, through advocating and preserving endangered languages and cultures. Therefore, it is our role to preserve and instil moral values through learning about traditions.


Davis, Paul, Harrison, Gary, Johnson, David M., & Crawford, John F. (2003). The Bedford Anthology of English Literature: The twentieth century. Bedford/st Martins. Read more.

Wade Davis: Dreams from endangered cultures | TED Talk | TED.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/wade_davis_on_endangered_cultures

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