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PBS ‘Language Matters’ Documentary Includes Hawai’i

Posted March 17, 2015, 02:26 PM HST
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Pele Harman with Nawahi School 5th graders. PBS Hawai’i photo.

Several individuals from the Big Island will be featured in a new PBS documentary called “Language Matters,” scheduled to air on Thursday, March 19 at 8 p.m.

In the documentary, poet Bob Holman will travel the globe to feature efforts to perpetuate native languages.

Hawai’i is included in the third segment of the film and features Big Island individuals Pele Harman from Ke Kula O Nāwahīokalani’ōpu’u; Kauanoe Kamana, a founding member of Aha Punana Leo; and Larry Kimura, an University of Hawai’i at Hilo Associate Professor.

Others in the film from Hawai’i include Puakea Nogelmeier, Kepa Maly, W.S Merwin, Lolena Nicholas, Keali’i Reichel and Kau’i Sai-Dudoit.

Holman will also make stops in Australia to visit an Aboriginal songman who is the last person on the planet who speaks Amudak.

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While in the Australia region, Holman also travels to Goulburn Island off the coast of Northern Australia. While at Goulburn Island, he meets 400 people who speak 10 different languages, all of which are vulnerable, and some endangered.

Over three million people in Wales live and speak the country’s native language. Holman visits with the Welsh people and takes a journey through their humor, rage, and lyricism and learns about the cultures ability to bring their language back from near extinction.

More information about the “Language Matters” documentary can be found by visiting the film’s website.

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