International Mother Language Day

22 February, 2018, 01:01 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • International-Mother-Language-Day-600x487

In 1999, UNESCO recognized February 21 as International Mother Language Day to honor the Bengali demonstrations in the then East Pakistan [current Bangladesh] against the use of Urdu as the sole national language in 1952. UNESCO, which is celebrating International Mother Language Day for almost 20 years, aims at preserving it and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education. Language is fundamental to communication of all kinds, and it is communication that makes change and development possible in human society. The Bangladeshi Student Association of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will also be celebrating International Mother Language Day (IMLD) on February 21 from 6-8:30 p.m.

Since embedded in our indigenous languages is our rich culture, history, traditions, and values, government must take deliberate and concrete steps to protect them by enforcing the national policy on education with regard to learning and teaching of mother tongue.

At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered.

The United Nations General Assembly has called upon Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world".


For PanSALB, a day is not enough to celebrate our diversity of languages, especially in a country that has 11 official languages.

Today, the world celebrates Mother Language Day, a day set aside by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to "promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism". Technology can help massively in this mission so as the political will.

For students, it suggests - observe how many mother languages your fellow classmates can speak.

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