Swiss student wins contest with video on fight against drugs

Swiss student wins contest with video on fight against drugs

Kai Lengwiler of Realgymnasium Rämibühl Zürich examined Switzerland’s fight against drugs, winning News Decoder’s 11th Storytelling Contest. Winners of the 11th News Decoder Storytelling Contest A video report by a high school student in Zurich examining...

Languages in Tibet under threat — and traditions at risk too

Languages in Tibet under threat — and traditions at risk too

Tibet’s many languages are under threat from Beijing’s policies and economic realities, putting cultural traditions and memories at risk. Tsupkhu Lama in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India in June 2019. (Photo by Li Keira Yin) This story won honorable...

Li Keira Yin of The Thacher School examines the difficulties that minority languages face surviving in Tibet without falling into the trap of concluding that it’s all the fault of the Communist Party leadership in Beijing when economic pressures in a globalized economy are part of the explanation. For her nuanced view, Yin draws from her unique perspective as someone raised in China who is studying in the United States. Her account of the complexities of language in Tibet started when Yin listened to her Chinese grandmother speak a dialect at home while speaking in Mandarin when picking up the phone. “I started wondering why dialects and minority languages have to be overpowered by Mandarin in China, and so I dug deeper,” Yin said. A lesson for other students struggling to understand how their lives fit into the bigger scheme of things.

Exercise: Ask students to discuss when it’s important for authorities to protect minority languages.

Thacher School