Gaelic: Going, Going, Gone – Brief Article
Cultural homogeneity induced by global business, technology and increased travel has certainly led to convenience. But while some may feel safe seeing a McDonald’s (OK, bad example) in Micronesia or Outer Mongolia, customs, dialects and other special qualities of many cultures are getting sacrificed in exchange. Y&R’s Intelligence Factory New York, reports on how two age-old traditions are getting edged out by efficiency and consistency.
* The lost word: Over the next hundred years, 90% (3,000) of the world’s languages may disappear. In the last century 100 of California’s native languages vanished, as did most of Australia’s 250 aboriginal tongues–a fate that also threatens Scots Gaelic, Irish and others: Of the world’s languages, 60% are spoken by only about 4% of the population.
Authors of Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Language equate in-peril languages with endangered species and urge preserving them as part of saving the Earth’s indigenous peoples and habitats.
* Currencies–cashing out Within the next few years, a dozen European currencies will be swapped for the euro. On-the-way-out coins include the Greek drachma–the first international currency–which made its debut around 650 B.C., experts believe.
Although popular support for the euro exceeds 70% in Greece, some European critics argue that EU integration is replacing national traditions with bland uniformity and erasing any sense of national culture. As a compromise, each country can create its own design for domestically minted coinage (Greece chose Mt. Olympus and Zeus). In Greece, the euro will be introduced on Jan. 1, 2002.
In France, Feb. 7, 2000 will be the cut-off date for using franc notes, but the Banque de France will exchange them until 2012. After that, they’ll be considered merely tokens of the past.
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