Why does Friendly Borders want to protect cultures from extinction?
Every culture on this earth has contributed something important to humanity and has distinct customs and perspectives on life that can help improve ours.
We at Friendly Borders suggest that you bare your mind to new ideas and hold the door wide open to more knowledge, which often leads to more understanding and happiness.
Who should use our educational websites?
We encourage students of all fields to browse and immerse themselves in our websites’ content. Whether you are young or old, an academic or an enthusiast, you are most welcome to explore the world with Friendly Borders.
Who are the beneficiaries of our projects which aim to promote culture and language?
All of us benefit from learning more about our neighbors. Throughout history, most people have borrowed from one another culturally, thereby improving their lives in many aspects. Sharing is one of the pillars of humanity, and our world has become a better place because of it.
Friendly Borders hopes that all groups featured on this website can enjoy more recognition both locally and internationally. It also hopes that the website will serve as a podium for groups that badly need to be heard.
Why does Friendly Borders want to protect languages from extinction?
There are currently more than 6,000 tongues spoken in the world. However, local languages are disappearing along with traditional ways of life, eroding this very diversity. We at Friendly Borders know that by protecting language, we can help save culture.
How can you better utilize our educational websites?
Consider Friendly Borders websites as coffee-table e-books that can serve as sources of information and inspire the pursuit of further studies of the content or related materials. The information we provide is not comprehensive, nor is it intended to be. Rather, it is a snapshot intended to serve our goal of sparking further interest and a desire for deeper exploration. Who knows, perhaps we can help influence students of culture to become anthropologists, linguists, sociologists and advocates of language and culture?
Let’s all come together and promote our world.
Want a broader spectrum on culture and language?
Drop in on our websites, your direct route to discovering the awesome number of world cultures and languages that urgently need our attention. But don’t stop there. Journey to other websites that provide additional information about world cultures and languages.
Get involved and make a difference.
Why do we refer to all groups and peoples on our websites as ethnic groups?
Friendly Borders uses “ethnic groups” as a generic term to refer to a group of people whose members identify with one another through a common heritage — be it language, culture (including a shared religion), or ancestry. We believe that the term “ethnic group” calls attention to thousands of groups of people around the world who would otherwise be overlooked.
We recognize that interpretations of ethnicity vary among academics, politicians and in their everyday usage. In keeping with our mission to simply celebrate the diversity of human experience, Friendly Borders has consciously chosen a broad definition of what constitutes an ethnic group.
Specialists in the field may have valid reasons for disputing some of our distinctions, but as our goal is to recognize difference where it exists, we have opted to allow loose parameters to define ethnicity for our purposes. The material gathered here is not intended to represent an authoritative or all-inclusive classification system of human ethnic groups.
Similarly we acknowledge that issues of ethnicity often come into play in local and national politics. Friendly Borders does not endorse nationalism or any political cause whatsoever. Rather our focus is strictly on developing a better understanding of humanity through its many representations.
Further it will be useful to note the following in the way that Friendly Borders regards ethnicity. Ethnic solidarities and identities are claimed most often where groups do not seek national autonomy, but rather a recognition internal to or cross-cutting national or state boundaries. Some ethnic groups or people will overlap with one another (e.g. Mexican Americans and Americans). Some ethnic groups or peoples have states, while others are stateless. Regardless of this fact, all groups are treated equally and celebrated.
How can you teach your children the importance of your native tongue?
You can start by making them realize that they can promote their native language and thus conserve their culture in the wake of our rapidly changing world, which seems to attach little value to the languages of small groups and languages whose extent is limited. By teaching children the importance of their native tongue, you teach them the importance of their origins and community, and the beauty of their culture. What they learn to appreciate deeply, they will want to keep alive.
There are untold benefits from conserving your native language and passing it on from generation to generation, even if a more powerful or dominant language makes the effort seem impractical.
A common advantage that a blingual or multilingual child enjoys is the opportunity to absorb more than one culture’s literature, history, traditions, and the way of life – something that a monolingual child cannot do. A second language opens a door to another world of thoughts and ideas; a third language, a third door; and so on. When a language dies, the particular thoughts and concepts it can conjure disappear with it.
If parents constantly encourage their children to learn and speak their native tongue, the young ones will inevitably discern the importance of both their language and culture. Reminding a child of the importance of his/her language will instill in them pride and the desire to learn more about their roots.
As members of larger and more dominant language groups, we can also contribute by encouraging people who belong tp smaller language groups to conserve and value their languages.
Why did Friendly Borders stop aiding underprivileged schools and instead focus strictly on promoting culture and language?
The organization wants to concentrate on doing whatever it can to promote cultures and languages and save them from extinction. Over the years, after having witnessed the slow death of beautiful traditional cultures and languages in various countries, many of the Friendly Borders staff felt that something had to be done very quickly and extensively.
We still aid in the educational mission, but do so by promoting cultural and language education through our websites. We strive to convince schools to teach children as much as possible about anything that has to do with culture and language.
Also, Friendly Borders will remain true to its roots and continue to donate books and materials, strengthen existing educational programs, create new programs in conjunction with schools and communities, undertake building restorations, support extracurricular activities such as sports and the arts, provide scholarships to girls and sponsor field trips to museums and other educational sites. We aim to create programs that zero in on improving education for young girls, establish programs for at-risk youth, and work toward more parent involvement in schools.