Brazil one of the most racially and culturally diverse nations in the world has announced that Yoruba, an ethnic Nigerian language has been adopted as one of their official languages. Due to the historical ties, Brazil has with Yoruba culture and its people who were enslaved and brought to Brazil.
During slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, West Africans were rounded up brutally and enslaved in many colonies across the Americas. Yoruba was one of the many tribal languages spoken by the slaves. The slave community in Brazil was able to preserve their culture, and language.
Dr. Sergio Sa Leitao, who is the Minister of Culture in Brazil explained that the government also introduced African History and Yoruba language as a compulsory part of the secondary school curriculum. The program is appropriately named “AYO” a Yoruba word meaning ‘joy’.
Dr. Sá Leitão has made it evident at this event that the government will continue to promote the importance of African culture in Brazil, bringing back to Afro-descendants the culture and tradition of the African people.
Even centuries after the slave trade occurred, the influences of African culture still remain poignant. This is one of the many reasons why the Brazilian government has decided to embrace and recognize Yoruba as an official (foreign) language spoken throughout the country.