Nhsc-v1-200

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nhsc-v1-200

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presented in the school system in accordance with the ideology espoused by the English speakers controlling the department.

The development of pidgin assured the cultural survival of Hawaiians and those who chose to identify with them as locals, when the only alternative seened to be to completely give up a cohesive Hawaiian identity that relied on the existence of a unifying language. Pidgin assured a Hawaiian identity, but it was used against local people by the English speakers in the same way that Hawaiian had been. Individuals were chosen for jobs based on their skills in English, not pidgin, although the majority of those with whom one might deal in the position might speak pidgin. Just as had been done earlier in distinguishing between English language schools and Hawaiian language schools during the monarchy, government English Standard schools for those speaking Standard English were established during the 1920's by the territorial government for those who aspired to higher positions. (See chapter on "Education," above). Entrance to these schools was by a test of English ability. Very few Hawaiians could pass the test, and it was even more difficult for most plantation .children, whose parents had absolutely no formal contact with English. Most of those who passed were the more middle-class Americans who had migrated to Hawai'i to fill new white collar jobs in the territory when these were vacated by the Hawaiian speakers. The older, more well-to-do American families, however, sent their children to the prestigious private schools.

Although the development of pidgin saved the Hawaiian identity from eradication, the replacement of Hawaiian with pidgin added fuel to the philosophy that things Hawaiian are primitive and have no place in the modern world. Without a knowledge of Hawaiian, students cannot examine Hawaiian literature and records of modern Hawaiians functioning within their own indigenous language and culture. Their knowledge of themselves had to be filtered through an English viewpoint, which is strongly prejudiced towards itself an against Hawaiian culture. Thus, pidgin cuts Hawaiians off from their ancestral roots and aesthetic culture, along with the adaptive tradition to technological society that is also their heritage.

Pidgin also handicaps local children's social standing, because it is viewed as an inferior version of English. Hawaiian can never be viewed as an inferior form of English and to speak Hawaiian using Enaish rules is to speak inferior Hawaiian. Because it is its own full languaqe, Hawaiian determines its own boundaries and contains its own gradations of language use within itself. There is no anomaly to having an opera in Hawaiian, formal debates in Hawaiian, written literature in Hawaiian, or high church services in Hawaiian, and all of these have been done in the language. There is even a certain preference for Hawaiian over English for the ceremonial opening of the legislature or new buildings, for example. Pidgin would never be seriously used in today's social context for any of these purposes. The only time that pidgin is consciously used in print or on,stage is for a comical effect; otherwise listeners interpret it as speaking down to them.

Pidgin puts local people at the bottom of the English-language status structure, which is somewhat ironic in view of the fact that English itself

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