The diamond of mankind

«Research shows that learning #IndigenousLanguages helps form strong indigenous identities.» (Survival International, Facebook)

Survival International

This message emphasizes why it is so important for us to teach ourselves and our children ancient or original Greek. The Mythological Lab for Kids and the Courses of ancient Greek for adults under the guidance of the Hellenic sociologist Dr. Ourania Toutountzi (both organized by the Supreme Council of ethnic Hellenes – YSEE) have achieved great things. Because by learning ancient Greek, we learn how to be Hellenes and how to «build» our indigenous identity in an often hostile environment. Yet it is not only about ancient Greek, all indigenous languages are precious. They transport the particular worldviews and virtue systems of their ethnicities. Therefore they must be placed under the protection of the international community. For without them the ethnosphere would be more impoverished than it already is. But the ethnosphere is the diamond of mankind.

In his book «Homage to Humanity» the photographer Jimmy Nelson gives us a very simple definition of «ethnosphere». In addition, he is correctly pointing out that this term contains the whole imagination of our species. «The parallels between the biodiversity of the planet and its cultural diversity are very clear … People with unique cultural identities need to be truly and effectively respected, cherished and supported, for them and for all of us. Our ethnodiversity, our ‹ethnosphere›, must also be protected. It is the sum total and manifestation of all the thoughts, dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations and intuitions produced by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness … In short, it is humanity’s greatest legacy.» (Jimmy Nelson: Homage to Humanity, New York: Rizzoli, 2018.)

This repeatedly devastated and today, unfortunately, overlooked ethnosphere is the most valuable thing we have as species, as civilization. If we lose it, we will lose ourselves. But if we preserve it, then someday we may be able to understand its true value and become participants of the beauty and abundance of the whole civilization mankind has created.

And this can open the corridor to understand «others», the different, the «otherness». And understanding can open the way to tolerate or even respect the polymorphy of mankind, the diversity of human cultures, ways of life and languages around the world and, of course, the reconciliation of nations and the much-desired peace among them.