Keynote: Lily Li on Jeanette Armstrong

2017 summer intensive

Lily Li

I wanted to pick out Jeannette Armstrong’s keynote to respond to individually because the song that she sang with a group of people at the beginning of her speech is very inspiring to me. Her speech talked about the beauty of languages and the shared understanding between people of different tongues because they shared similar beliefs of the land. There is a parallel between Chinese and BC First Nations, as contrary to popular belief, Chinese isn’t a language; it is a group of different, non mutually intelligible languages that come into form over time. Thus I wrote a poem using the two languages of the Chinese groups (Mandarin and Cantonese), and fused some of the translated lyrics of the Okanagan song.

 

我唔知呢地還能唔能開芲

我唔知呢天還能唔能落雨唔知天公作美

繫乜埜風景。

 

它曾活力四射带着勃勃生机

漫山遍野随处都是美。

孩童笑闹着

家长跟在后面小心翼翼。

 

We are beautiful
Because we are Okanagan
Because we come from the land.

 

若大地唔再美麗

若芲兒都遠離

嗰賸下嚟嘅我哋

我哋當點。

 

我们来自大地

那我们也同他死去。

花开我在。

花落我陪。

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