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Chaldean Awareness Month: What To Know

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

In 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared April as Chaldean [Kal-Dee-Uhn] Awareness Month in Michigan. 

In her proclamation, she said, “The Chaldean/Assyrian/Syriac people are a community of rich tradition and culture who enrich Michigan’s cultural tapestry and prosperity through their success in the arts, business, law, politics, education, medicine, architecture, and engineering.” 

Chaldeans are indigenous to Mesopotamia, now known as modern day Iraq. The “land between the rivers” was home to ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians.

Today, northern Iraq is the fatherland to Chaldean Catholic communities. Villages like Alqosh Batnaya, Shaqlawa, and Tel Keppe are where Chaldeans reside.

In the 1920s, Chaldeans began immigrating to the United States, Metro Detroit being the popular option, bringing with them history, language, and tradition. 

The native language of Chaldeans is called Aramaic. Not to be confused with Arabic. Although Chaldeans are from Arabic speaking countries, there is a significant difference between the two languages. Arabic is made up of bits and pieces from Aramaic. 

This is also one of the key differences between Chaldean Americans and Arab Americans. 

Aramaic belongs to the family of Semitic languages. Galilean Aramaic is the language of ancient Babylon. Supposedly, this is the language Jesus Christ spoke.

Most Chaldeans are members of the Eastern Rite Chaldean Catholic Church. Catholic Chaldeans follow practices such as the Apostles Creed. They believe in one God made up of the father, son, and Holy Spirit. 

An estimated 500,000 modern day Chaldeans live in the United States, primarily in Metro Detroit, but also in Arizona, California, and Illinois. 

In recent days, Chaldean awareness has become much more welcomed.

Most high schools and colleges in Michigan have a Chaldean American Student Association (CASA) club, Chaldean owned businesses have become wildly successful, and festivals are held in dedication to the culture. 

If you aren’t from a heavily Chaldean populated area, it’s difficult to learn about them based on your community.
April being dedicated to celebrate Chaldean American in society is a great way to continue the spread of awareness about the community and culture. 

Sophia Jundy is a sophomore at Michigan State University studying journalism, graphic design, and photography. Her end goal after university is to work with pop culture magazines and social media. She joined her campus looking for more opportunities and is actively looking to expand her knowledge in writing, editing, and reporting.