Latin America & Caribbean

Peru's public TV airs first news programme in Quechua

Publicity shot by Peru TV promoting its new programme Image copyright TV Peru
Image caption The programme is presented in Quechua by Clodomiro Landeo and Marisol Mena

Peru's public broadcaster, TV Peru, has begun broadcasting its first ever news programme in Quechua, the ancient indigenous language spoken by some eight million people in the Andes.

The hour-long programme, entitled Nuqanchik (We), airs on weekdays at 05:30 on radio and TV.

All journalists and producers working on the programme are native speakers.

Quechua was spoken by the indigenous people of Peru before the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th Century.

It was declared a national language alongside Spanish in the 1970s but Peruvians say there is still a strong social stigma attached to speaking it.

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has backed the new programme and sent its producers and presenters a message in Quechua: "Allinta munay, allinta yachay, allinta ruway," (Wish well, learn well, do well.)

Mr Kuczynski, both of whose parents emigrated to Peru from Europe, said he hoped the programme would help end discrimination.

Presenter Marisol Mena said it would contribute to creating an awareness that Quechua was not a language of the poor or disadvantaged.

"There's resistance, but [Peruvians] have to understand that there are business executives and university professors who speak Quechua as a mother tongue," she told the Agence France Press news agency.

TV Peru said it was planning to launch similar programmes in other indigenous languages.

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