Senior poets celebrate cultural diversity with ‘Mother Tongue Other Tongue’

CHS’s Senior School linguists experienced a flavour of other cultures when they took part in the Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry project co-ordinated by Manchester Poetry Library.

Showcasing the rich tapestry of languages spoken in schools across the UK, the multi-lingual project encourages pupils to explore and embrace their mother tongues while appreciating the significance of other languages. It serves as a platform to promote understanding and respect for cultural heritage, fostering a sense of pride in linguistic diversity.

Waconians Nhyira, Orla and Aleena wrote winning poems and were presented their awards by Poet Malika Booker. Nhyira composed her poem in Twi, whilst Orla and Aleena wrote in French.

Nhyira commented: “I learnt Twi from my parents as they spoke to me in Twi from when I was a child and I also learnt from my grandma, when she moved from Ghana, but when I started School, I became busy and since Twi was not widely spoken, I started to speak it less and less.”

She continued: “My poem talks about my struggle trying to speak the language again after not speaking it for so long and how I became less confident in my ability to speak. It’s also about the fear that I had of saying something wrong and embarrassing myself, feeling ashamed as languages are very important in my culture. When I found out I had won a prize in the competition, I was very exited as I felt my poem was being appreciated and that I could share my genuine emotions with people.

All three poems will be included in this year’s anthology, which will be available to read here.