The Greek language is not just a tool for communication; it’s a crucial part of Greek-American culture that we must safeguard for future generations. Unless we act, the language risks disappearing in the United States, taking with it a vital aspect of our cultural heritage.
To ensure the survival of the Greek language, parents play a pivotal role. They must insist that their children learn the language by speaking it at home, teaching them Greek literature, stories, and songs, and encouraging them to attend Greek school. Greek schools provide a golden opportunity for children to learn the language, and it is essential that parents support and motivate their children to attend.
Frequent visits to Greece are another way to preserve the language. Children can fully immerse themselves in the language and culture, cultivating a deeper appreciation of their heritage. While it may not be feasible for everyone, those who can afford it should endeavor to travel to Greece.
The Greek government also has a duty to protect the language. Adequate funding for Greek schools in the United States is crucial, as is the need to send over Greek teachers who may be unemployed in Greece. Negotiating a special visa with the United States would enable Greek teachers to stay and work in the United States, assisting in preserving the language and culture.
As a community, we must do better in preserving the Greek language. Not everyone needs to become a fluent speaker, but we must all make an effort to ensure that the language is not lost. Those who are financially well-off could establish a secular, top-tier, Greek boarding school with reasonable tuition. This would not only help preserve the language but also create a community of individuals who deeply value and appreciate their Greek heritage. This school could be the precursor to other schools throughout the United States, forming a network of Greek schools that can compete with the country’s most prestigious schools, giving students an even greater chance of attending top-tier universities.
We must aim higher, never giving in to complacency or apathy because things have always been around. Every day is a struggle to preserve our Hellenism, and it’s a battle that we must win.