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Native Cultures Celebrated on Venezuelan Radio

Indigenous cultures are receiving national attention on radio shows throughout Venezuela.
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Indigenous cultures are receiving national attention on radio shows throughout Venezuela.

The National Venezuelan Radio System (NVRS), which includes 14 indigenous channels, announced in June the start of a weekly indigenous cultures show that will be broadcast across the country.

The Original Cultures radio program was developed by the NVRS's Indigenous Communication Channel (ICC) and is described in the channel's press release as being "multicultural, multilingual, aimed at promoting the ancestral cultures and the preservation of the environment from an indigenous perspective."

"The objectives of this effort," the statement continued, "will be to educate, inform, entertain, and to know everything related to the original cultures."

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This new show, which premiered on June 11th, will include three segments that will deal with regional, national and international topics through the use of interviews, surveys, public statements, and brief reports among other items. The program will also be run by and feature indigenous people from Venezuela and throughout Abya Yala (Latin America). As with prior ICC shows, indigenous journalists from other countries such as Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico will contribute news reports from their regions.

The first guest of the Original Cultures show was Congressman Jose Luis Gonzalez, a representative of the Pemon community and President of the National Assembly's Permanent Commission of Indigenous Peoples. In the first episode of the program Congressman Gonzalez spoke about the culture of the Pemon people who live in Bolivar State, located in southern Venezuela.

“We, who are part of nature, and our ancestors, comparing it a little with Genesis in Christianity, said that the creator placed us here; and that the ancestors are in the mountaintops, their contact with the cosmos, spirituality, that is where our origins lie,” Gonzalez said in the first program.

He also congratulated the shows hosts for creating the radio space that would allow all Venezuelans to learn about the origins and the histories of the many indigenous cultures. Gonzalez then spoke briefly about the Pemon cultural value of belonging to a place, of the sacredness of the land, as well as how a company of Pemon (also known as Caribe) archers participated in the Battle of San Felix in 1817, as part of the war of independence against Spain.

The new show will be broadcast on Wednesdays and will be 45 minutes long. Original Cultures will join other national indigenous programming such as Indigenous News, broadcast Monday through Friday on the Music and Information Channel every afternoon at 3:50 p.m. and We Are Amerindians, which goes on the air every Saturday at 3 p.m.