No, it’s not a song about the trendiest grain in the US. If you know the word quinoa, you officially know at least one word in the Quechua language. Chances are you know a few more: llama, puma, even the coca in Coca-Cola. Since you’ve been hearing Quechua words your whole life, I wanted to introduce to this performance. Renata Flores Rivera covers Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel completely in Quechua.
Renata Flores Rivera, who is a Peruvian high school student, recorded this song for the project Las juventudes también hablamos quechua (The youth, we speak quechua too). Flores’ mother, Patricia Rivera Canchanya, is leading the project which promotes Quechua arts and culture.
In an interview with Fusion, Rivera said “I speak Quechua, but not very fluently anymore because we don’t use it,” she said. “They teach a lot here, English, which is also really important because it’s the global language, but we can’t abandon our roots because this is ours, it’s a heritage that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to lose.”
The Quechua language is spoken in the Andes region of South America. In Peru and Bolivia, it is an official language. It is also spoken in Argentina, Columbia and Ecuador. It It is one of the languages selected to send a greeting into interstellar space on the Voyager Golden Records.
“Hello to everybody from this Earth, in Kechua language.”