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KNAU and Arizona News

Diné Speakers Turn Out For ‘Baby Shark’ Auditions

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Aspiring actors from across the Navajo Nation gathered in Window Rock this weekend to audition for a Navajo-language version of the children’s song Baby Shark. As KNAU’s Zac Ziegler reports, the project is meant to preserve the language:

More than 100 people showed up to the open audition at the Navajo Nation Museum.

Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler was looking for people who could sing the children’s song in Diné.

“We’re trying to rebuild and repair those connections that have been broken. And so our hope for all children is that they memorize it and are learning, and they don’t even know they’re learning.”

Joni Lapahie auditioned for the role of Mommy Shark.  

She hopes the song will help younger tribal members, like her nieces and nephews, learn the language as she did when she was young.

“Making sure that we keep our language going means a lot to me on a personal level. You know, it’s part of our identity as Navajo.”

The parts will be cast and recorded this week, with plans to have the Navajo-language version of the song on YouTube by Christmas.

This is the 12th language that Baby Shark has been translated into.

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