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Flores, a 14-year-old from the Peruvian highlands, has racked up more than a million views since posting her cover of the Michael Jackson hit on YouTube on July 27 .Quechua, the language of the Incas, has faced such stigmatization since Spanish conquistadors colonized Peru in the 16th century.Around 3.6 million of Peru's 30 million people speak Quechua, particularly in the highlands.In Peru, it is an official language, alongside Spanish."For young people, Quechua is synonymous with backwardness and poverty, because the colonial mentality of discrimination, contempt and racism still persists in Peru," said Elena Burga, the head of an Education Ministry program to promote bilingual education.She said more funding is needed to protect and promote the language.Others working to boost the language include hard rock band Uchpa and language teacher Demetrio Tupac Yupanqui, who has translated Cervantes' "Don Quixote" into Quechua ("Yachay sapa wiraqucha dun Qvixote Manchamantan").
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