The Torres Strait region is the home of two traditional languages and six dialects:
These are all recognised as severely and critically endangered languages by UNESCO, the Australian Government and Torres Strait communities.
“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”
Language is the verbal expression of culture – offering a powerful medium through which culture is carried forward. Our stories and songs contain the key to understanding our world, and finding our place within it.
The richness of our cultural practices, knowledge systems and cultural expressions is a great source of great strength, resilience and pride for Torres Strait and Aboriginal people. For this reason, language and culture are deeply interconnected and core parts of one’s identity.
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Maria is from Ugar Island. She speaks English and is learning Meriam Mir.