The Quechua language, although threatened, continues to live strongly in Cuzco. People often say that it claims between fifteen and twenty million speakers. Nevertheless, more and more young people are opting for Spanish and not learning to communicate completely in this language of their ancestors.
However, the language has its defenders, including educators and poets. Here we present the lyrics of an Harawi, a song, celebrating the merits of the Quechua language. It’s author appears to be Noemí Vizcarro, the celebrated proponent of Quechua, lawyer, and translator.
Quechua, the beat of our people,
Example of wise men
Word, of all things refined,
Your reality, the name of true knowledge.
Quechua, your speech is wisdom and power.
Drum beat heard in the world.
Key to the Inca Empire;
Living witness of our life,
The first milk we knew
Milk we drank from our mothers,
Sweet, delight is your voice.,
Delicate and noble your ideas,
Quechua, blood that nourishes virtue,
Beat of loving hearts.
Able like a condor or falcon!
You are the honey of humming birds and doves.
Quechua, wealth of lords.
Eternal stamp of our people;
You are the good and sweet life,
Great heritage of all people.
QHESWA…. SANANCHISPA PHATATAYNIN
YUYAYSAPA RUNAKUNAQ UTIYNIN.
YACHAY TARPUQPA, RIMAYNIN,
KAWSAYPA SUT`IN CHEQAQ YACHAYNIN.
QHESWA… YACHAY ATIYMI RIMAYNIYKI.
WANKARTINYA PASAQ, PACHAPI UYARINA,
TAWANTINSUYUQ PAKASIMIN KICHANA;
SANANCHISPA ¡KAWSAY! UYACHAQ,
PHOQE… PAQARIMUQTINCHIS MUSKHINA,
ÑUQÑU… MAMANCHISMANTA ÑUÑUNA,
MISK`I , KUSIYMI, RIMAYNIYKI,
LLAMP`U K’APAQ YUYAYNIYKIKUNA,
QHESWA….YAWARNIKIWAN, KAWSAY MIJUCHIQ,
SUMAQ SONQOKUNAQ PHATATAYNIN.
¡KUNTUR UTAQ WAMAN! ATAWCHIQ,
Q`ENTIQ KUKULIQ LACHIWANMI KANKI.
¡QHESWA… APUKUNAQ QAPAQKAYNIN!
SANANCHISPA WIÑAY TUYRUN;
KANKI SUMAQ MISK`I KAWSAY,
¡LLAPA RUNAQ ASKHA QATEQNIN!