May 27, 2008

Navajo Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance ... : Heights students use their native languages to recite pledgeReciting the Pledge of Allegiance can be a lesson in patriotism, memorization or public speaking.

The daily ritual is all three at Heights Middle School, where it also is a demonstration of the school's varied culture. Students crowd into the office each morning to recite the pledge over the intercom system in three languages: English, Spanish and Navajo.

"I think it's nice that the school brought this in," said 12-year-old Natalie Wernig, a sixth-grader who has learned the pledge in all three languages.

"We are all U.S. citizens, but English isn't necessarily our first language," she said. "It's cool we can all say it in our own language."
The Pledge in Navajo:"Kéyah ashdladiingo hahoodzooígíí bidahnaat'a'í t'áá ííyisíí shil nilíigo baa bich'i' ádíshní. Háálá ájooba' hasin yee hadít'é, kéyah t'áála'í si'áági Diyin Dine'é yee ádééhodilzin, binahji' níík'eh ájooba' bidziilii bee da' ahíínííta'."Comment:  I'm not sure what "lesson in patriotism" you learn by repeating a rote phrase. I imagine the primary lesson is that if you don't recite the Pledge dutifully, your schoolmates will shun you for not being "patriotic." In other words, the Pledge teaches children to think in platitudes, to conform, and to shut up if you don't agree.

For more on the subject, see I Pledge Allegiance to the Constitution.

No comments: