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Preserving Culture and Faith in America (VOA Connect Ep 53)


VOA – CONNECT

EPISODE 53
AIR DATE 01 18 2019

TRANSCRIPT

Full Transcript

OPEN ((VO/NAT))
((Banner))
Whaling Tradition

((SOT))
((Animation Transition))
((Banner))

Street Luger
((SOT))
((Animation Transition))
((Banner))

Undocumented

((SOT))
((Open Animation))

BLOCK A

INTRO VIDEO: ALASKA


((PKG)) ALASKA WHALING
((Banner: Whaling))
((Reporter
: Natasha Mozgovaya))
((Camera: Aleksandr Bergan))
((Adapted by:
Zdenko Novacki))

((Map: Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska))

((Banner: International law allows for whaling by Aboriginal groups))
((NATS))
((CRAWFORD PATKOTAK, WHALING CAPTAIN))

All year round, we’re preparing for the whale hunt, and it's about feeding people, about feeding the community and making sure nobody goes hungry and encouraging every able-bodied person to participate in the hunt, to keep your culture alive, to keep your traditions alive.
((NATS))
((MICHAEL DONOVAN, WHALING CAPTAIN))

So, that’s why we take our kids out at a young age, you know. It's something you don't learn overnight, you just learn over the years. So, I feel very confident that, Lord willing, it will go on for another thousand years.
((NATS))

((CRAWFORD PATKOTAK, WHALING CAPTAIN))
And when a whale is caught, it’s a great responsibility on the captain and his wife to make sure that the whale is distributed correctly. All the crews that participate in harvesting and butchering the whale have a share that they get. All the crews, every person that comes down gets a share, and then there’s the areas of the whale that are set aside for the festivities that we’re having right now.
((NATS))

((Woman))
Getting our Eskimo food that we survive on and hot soup on a cold day.

((Man))
Nagalak soup, or the geese soup, or the Eider duck soup, I could say. I love eating that. Especially the Mikigaq, the fermented whale. I can't wait until they serve that.
((Man))
Muktuk, it's always muktuk.

((Man))
The homebrew he’s talking about can be served at 3 o'clock. Fermented whale.

((NATS))
((MICHAEL DONOVAN, WHALING CAPTAIN))

It's really dangerous. I mean, you’re in a 20 foot boat, paddling up to a whale that is 30 to 60 feet big. So, there’s a lot of, you know, little things that could go wrong and it's just dangerous all the way around. Sleeping on the sea ice, you know, I mean there is a possibility of floating out with the ice. The current changes, the wind changes, you get a crack, it could happen so fast.
((NATS))

((CRAWFORD PATKOTAK, WHALING CAPTAIN))
There’s close to 20 thousand bowhead whales nowadays. So, the stock is healthy. We take less than 0.2 percent of the total population through our harvest. And this is something that has been going on with our people since time immemorial. And it’s something that has kept our community strong and working together.

((NATS))

((PKG)) ALASKA CARVING
((Banner: Carving))
((Reporter
: Natasha Mozgovaya))
((Camera: Adam Greenbaum))
((Adapted by:
Zdenko Novacki))
((ROY NAGEAK, POLAR BEAR HUNTER))
So, we already have that spiritual connection of how we were made. So, with that in mind, the animals know what we need sometimes. If we treat each other with respect and not try to kill everything off and just get what you want to eat, then it's the purpose of the creation of living together is there, and nobody can stop it.
((JAMES PATKOTAK, CARVER))
My grandsons are hunters now. They bring me whale, caribou, whatever they catch, you know, bless their hearts. It’s all part of the respect for the elders that really brings our community together, especially respect.
((EBEN HOPSON, ARCTIC YOUTH AMBASSADOR, CARVER))
I cut the baleen here, there, there and there, and this is a piece from one of the bigger pieces of baleen. After that, I polish it all by hand and then I draw on it. So, this is a bowhead whale here, this is a whaling ship, this is the water, there’s bubbles right there from the whale’s spout.
((JAMES PATKOTAK, CARVER))
I specialize in polar bears and owls, you know, snowy owls. Whatever comes to mind, I think, you know, I consider myself an artist. So, you know, an artist's mind is always looking for something to depict or something like that. I love it.


((PKG)) ALASKA ENDANGERED INUPIAQ LANGUAGE
((Banner:
Speaking Out))
((Reporter
: Natasha Mozgovaya))
((Camera: Aleksandr Bergan))
((Adapted by:
Zdenko Novacki))
((NATS))
((CHRIS DANNER, INTER-ACTIVE INUPIAQ LEARNING PROGRAM))

We got four dialects with our language here in the North Slope. There’s only a few fluent speakers now. I think out of the 12 teachers we have, I think four of them may be fluent.
((NATS))
((FRANNIE AKPIK, INUPIAQ STUDIES COORDINATOR))

Our Inupiaq alphabet.
((CHRIS DANNER, INTER-ACTIVE INUPIAQ LEARNING PROGRAM))
Now it’s supposed to say a term, like whatever these pictures are. Like this is a boy and it’s going to say it in Inupiaq, of course, and you got to click the right picture. So, Tuttu is Caribou.
((FRANNIE AKPIK, INUPIAQ LEARNING PROGRAM))
As a child, I heard it all the time. At home, at church, at the native store, at the celebrations. Everybody spoke Inupiaq fluently without shame. The missionaries did a lot of damage.
((NATS))
((CHRIS DANNER, INTER-ACTIVE INUPIAQ LEARNING PROGRAM))

So, I think that’s floor and chair. And this is just one module out of maybe 30, 36 that we have up right now, and it keeps growing.
((Banner: 1885, Alaska’s head of education, a missionary, began a strict “English Only” policy))
((NATS))
((FRANNIE AKPIK, INUPIAQ LEARNING PROGRAM))

It took me a long time to finally give up speaking in school, because every time I spoke, it seemed like I was punished, yeah. And I couldn’t understand why for a long time, until papa told me, ‘what they’re telling you is when you enter that building, you can’t speak Inupiaq. You have to not say anything in Inupiaq.’ My children, I’m ashamed to say that, they did not speak back in Inupiaq, because I was still ashamed. ((NATS))
We were asked, ‘do you still live in an igloo?’ And I smiled and I said, ‘yes, my igloo is two story. It’s blue. I have three bedrooms and two baths.’ Our ancestors built snow houses and dwelled in them because they were nomadic.

TEASE ((VO/NAT))
Coming up
((Banner))
Street Luging
((SOT))

BREAK ONE
BUMP IN ((ANIM))

BLOCK B

((PKG)) STREET LUGE
((Banner: Sports – Racing Downhill))
((Reporter/Camera: Arturo Martínez))
((Map: Boise, Idaho))
((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Sometimes we let our age, we let our number define us. It's like grey hair bothers so many people and it just limits happiness. I think once we can become comfortable with who we are and what we're doing and create a life that we love, it changes everything.

My name is CJ Wilkinson and I'm a mom, a hospice nurse, but when I'm riding my street luge downhill, people know me as Mama Wilky.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

All right, let’s go.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

People think I'm a real thrill seeker, and I find it thrilling, but it's also very peaceful. It’s almost a spiritual experience for me. It's so quiet in my helmet.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Street luge helps get rid of the anxiety and the stress and depression that sometimes I'm dogged with. Working as a hospice nurse, it can be really challenging and I feel heartbroken sometimes, and it just provides a release so I can come back and be as good as ever the next day. It's almost like flying on the earth.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Not too fast. I'm old.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Next week, I'll be 55 years old and I started about three years ago. It was a really challenging time. I got sick after running my last half marathon in 2011 and it took years before we figured out what was wrong and eventually I ended up unable to work and in bed most days.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

This is what it looks like to wake up with Lyme disease. Very hard. That was the day you made me get out of bed and come outside. I slept a lot then.

((Dean Wilkinson, Street Luger))

I know you thought you were gonna die.

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

I was told I was probably not going to make it, remember?

((Dean Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Yeah. Luge gave her motivation to keep going because otherwise she was ready to give up, and we found the low dose immunotherapy. That was a key thing that turned things around and made a big difference.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

It's still part of my stay well strategy and I can't imagine not doing this.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))
My downhill family feels like just a bouquet of wild flowers. We're all unique, but we make a beautiful thing when we come together.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

So I am the skate mom of the community. I love all the people I ride with and I just bring them under my wing and make them my own and they don't seem to mind.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

We don’t litter, Cade. You can’t litter.

((Cade Keller, Street Luger))

It’s biodegradable.

((Brandon Ayllon, Street Luger))

Mom yelled at you.

((Cade Keller, Street Luger))
Shut up.

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

It is not biodegradable.

((NATS))

((Brandon Ayllon, Street Luger))

She's Mama Wilky all the way. I mean, like, every time we go down the hill, she makes sure we have everything. If we fall or if anything's happening, she's right there if you need anyone to hear you out. She's my other mother, that's all.

((Cade Keller, Street Luger))
You don't see a lot of women skating and you also don't see a lot of older women skating, so it's kind of abnormal.

((Brandon Ayllon, Street Luger))

My favourite part is that she's super fast. She’s faster than all of us.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Although it's a male dominated sport, the women are starting to catch on and we actually had our first women's division two years ago.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Isn’t this the greatest adventure?

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

The maximum speed that I’ve achieved was 70 miles an hour in a training run in Colorado. It was mind boggling. It was so fast.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Well, the dangers here on an open road where we ride are the oncoming traffic. They come into our lane and when they do that, they really jeopardize our safety because we could be coming around a blind corner and not know they are there. My husband worries a lot. He's kind of a worrywart, actually.

((NATS))
((CJ Wilkinson,
Street Luger))

He drives for me. We have a truck that follows us down. He drives it and that prevents any traffic from coming from behind and overcoming us.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

Best driver in the business. I love you man. He does support me. He gets up at dawn and drives me and he also joins me when he rides his gravity bike.

((NATS))

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

And they call him Papa.

((CJ Wilkinson, Street Luger))

I hope that I encourage other women. Whatever your passion is, if it lights your heart on fire, start it back up. Anything's possible at any age. Just keep doing what you love.

((NATS))

TEASE ((VO/NAT))
Coming up
((Banner))
Undocumented Workers
((SOT))
?????

BREAK TWO
BUMP IN ((ANIM))


BLOCK C

((PKG)) Undocumented Workers
((Banner: Undocumented Workers))
((Reporter
: Ramon Taylor))
((Camera: Ramon Taylor, Celia Mendoza))
((Map:
Bound Brook, New Jersey))
((NATS))
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
I was there waiting when (my supervisor) arrived in a golf cart. ‘You don’t speak English?’, she asked. ‘No,’ I told her. ‘I don’t speak English.’ And she told me, ‘Don’t worry. Here you don’t need English nor do you need papers (legal documentation).’ I went to the interview on a Sunday, and I began working there on Monday (the next day).
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
My name is Victorina Morales. I’m an immigrant. I’m from Guatemala.
((Sandra Diaz, Undocumented Housekeeper))
When I was with Vicky, I taught her everything about the homes of President Trump, (First Daughter) Ivanka Trump, and Mark Sanchez, the Jets (football) player that lived there. So she (Vicky) was very important.
((Courtesy: Photos of Victorina Morales))
((Sandra Diaz, Undocumented Housekeeper))

When we would clean [President Trump’s] house, he always liked to have $100, $50 and $20 bills on his nightstand. And when he leaves, he always leaves with cash because he tends to give tips to people on the grounds.
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
I was cleaning the stairs when he came through and he looks at me and laughs. He puts out his hand and gives me $100. Thank you, I tell him. I would always tell people, this man is so good because he gives tips. He never looks down upon us, always mindful.
((Sandra Diaz, Undocumented Housekeeper))
And the work is very taxing. You come in at 6 a.m. and until you finish at 2:30 p.m., you don’t stop. There are 11 rooms. Four homes. There’s [President Trump’s] house, Ivanka’s house, a (former) Jets (football) player’s (house), Laundry, Men’s locker room, Ladies' locker room. We have the event hall, the offices. You don’t stop for a second.
((Sandra Diaz, Undocumented Housekeeper))
A week before I first began working, another person had just started. We were the two new people in housekeeping. After some time, I began to notice that the woman was a bit difficult, very aggressive. She would abuse people because she knew we didn’t have the same status that she had. She would always use the words, ‘stupid, ignorant. You come to this country and you don’t even bother to learn English.’
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
She began calling us donkeys, telling us we didn’t understand anything. One time, we were cleaning a suite. We put the sheets in a bag to take them to get washed. I was putting the sheets in the machine when she came and said to me, ‘Stupid! Don’t you see that doesn’t fit?’ And she pushed me. If I hadn’t grabbed onto the wall, I would have hit my forehead onto the edge of the machine. That was the first violent act.
((Sandra Diaz, Undocumented Housekeeper))
One time, Vicky tried to leave and [the supervisor] told her that if she tried to leave the institution or complained about it, [immigration authorities] could show up at her door.
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
I said, of course she does it because she sees the president expressing himself the same way toward us.
((Donald Trump, Then-Presidential Candidate--June 16, 2015))
They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
((Sandra Diaz, Undocumented Housekeeper))
We began to speak amongst ourselves, ‘how is it possible that we’ve arrived at such an extreme, that he speaks so harshly?’ But everyone stayed quiet because everyone had their own interests.

((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
I told Sandra I can’t take it anymore. I swear. I’m tired of this. I just wanted someone to listen. And she told me, ‘Alright. You know what? I have a lawyer and I want you to get to know him and to tell him your story.’
((Anibal Romero, Immigration Attorney))
She was coerced into doing work she didn’t want to do. She was threatened with deportation. These are elements of federal crimes, forced labor that I believe federal prosecutors can look at.
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
The supervisor made my life impossible and I asked the lawyer what can I do?
((Anibal Romero, Immigration Attorney))
I thought that going public with this, on the record, and telling her story, let America hear her story, was going to be very important.
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
I told him I want to talk. And he tells me, ‘Alright, you want to talk?’ Yes. I’m not afraid.
((Sandra Diaz, Undocumented Housekeeper))
It’s comfortable to make an announcement when you don’t have to face the consequences. But that’s what we get criticized the most for doing: to come out and face the consequences in the news. In this country, we (undocumented immigrants) are accustomed to order. We prefer to accept abuse and mistreatment and remain on the margins, without causing any problems because we [have no choice].
((Victorina Morales, Undocumented Housekeeper at Trump National Golf Club))
I don’t speak for just myself. I speak for all my fellow immigrants [when I ask] that they open the doors for us. That we get out of this void and talk [amongst ourselves]. That we stop hiding our face behind a tree where we can't be seen.
((TEXT))
VOA reached out to both the Trump Organization and the White House for comment.
Multiple requests went unanswered.
((TEXT))
In a statement, the Trump Organization said:
“We have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and have very strict hiring practices. If any employee submitted false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately.”
((TEXT))
Since Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz first told their story, several more undocumented workers at Trump National Golf Club have come forward with theirs.


((Banner: Faith))


((PKG)) AHMADIYYA COMMUNITY CLEANING TRASH
((Banner: Cleaning Up))
((Reporter/Camera:
Deepak Dobhal))
((Map:
Washington, D.C.))

((Banner: The Ahmadiyya sect of Islam began in 1889 in undivided India.))

((NATS))

((Hammad Ahmad, Religious Minister))
Those kind of thoughts never come to our mind that they don’t think about us as Americans. At the end of the day, we consider ourselves as Americans, right. I mean, if we are living here as residents, as citizens, no matter who says anything to us, the fact is that we live here. We consider ourselves Americans, so it's our responsibility to come and do this.
((NATS))

((Hammad Ahmad, Religious Minister))
So today what we decided to do was head to the National Mall and start cleaning up some garbage. The government has been shut down for a while now, so the parks are getting dirty, and we figured that this is our civic duty and religious duty to go take to the streets and start cleaning up the trash and the garbage here.
((NATS))

((Hammad Ahmad, Religious Minister))
We are Ahmadi Muslims. We are those Muslims who believe in the messiah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.
((NATS))

The messiah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, he actually taught us that if you have a Hindu neighbor whose house is on fire and if you don't go and help that person, then you are not a member of my community, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. So that is the level of and standard of service of creation that we are taught to abide by.
And, so again here, if the parks are sitting here full of trash and garbage is strewn about everywhere, it’s bothersome to people who come here, it’s bothersome to the environment, then the serving creation means to come clean the trash up. It means to make the park look nice. It means helping the environment, helping the people, the tourists who come and enjoy the park.
((NATS))

Volunteers. Doing this because this is the right thing to do.
Yeah, yeah.
((Hammad Ahmad, Religious Minister))
So, we are part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association which is an auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya community at large. So, of course, we are wearing these vests. We are cleaning up the trash, so people do get curious and ask what we're about. And so, then when we tell them we're part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and we are doing this out of a level of service to our faith and abiding by the teachings of our faith. Then people are usually very appreciative of that. They commend this behavior and action, that we live by our faith in that way, in the way in which we dignify our society and environment.
((NATS))

Ok, good work guys.
Good seeing you guys.
((Hammad Ahmad, Religious Minister))
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community has been persecuted in much of the Muslim world, and the main reason for this persecution is that we believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian was a prophet. Now, much of the Muslim world takes exception to that and they say Muhammad, peace be upon him, was the last chronological prophet. No more prophets can come. And it is this basic, main difference because of which much of the Muslim world persecutes the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, why our community is called heretical and non-Islamic, and we are called kuffar or disbelievers.
((NATS))
((Hammad Ahmad, Religious Minister))
So, for us, as Ahmadiyya Muslims, you know, there's a very unique position we're in, where in much of the Muslim world, we are not considered Muslim. Now, here in the Western world, nobody knows what the difference of Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya. They just know a Muslim is a Muslim. So, here because we're Muslims, we are then persecuted because of that.
((NATS))
((Hammad Ahmad, Religious Minister))
Life does become for some Muslims stressful then in these times. You know, there are these cases of Muslims being attacked. You know, women wearing hijabs or scarves being attacked or being yelled at or being abused. And so, these are things that put you on your guard and these are things that when you go out, you look twice.
But at the end of the day, we still live in a country, in a society that gives us the freedom to practice our religion and we are grateful for those freedoms.
So, this was a time in which our city and our country needed our service, so we took that call upon ourselves to do the service to the nation in which we live.

((NATS))

CLOSING ((ANIM))
voanews.com/connect

BREAK THREE
BUMP IN ((ANIM))



SHOW ENDS

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