Since 2000 people have been celebrating International Mother Language Day every year on February 21 after it was approved by UNESCO in 1999. Since English is spoken by many people so people don’t tend to recognize other languages. Multilingual people live around the world so different languages are spoken. This day is celebrated to highlight the significance of linguistic diversity and multiculturalism.
Significance of International Mother Language Day
International mother language day protects traditional knowledge and cultures through sustainable ways. It helps in the promotion of multilingualism in societies. “To promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world” has been a part of a broader initiative which is approved by the UN General Assembly on 16 May 2007.
How it started?
Bangladesh was the first country to initiate the idea of celebrating International Mother language day. 21 February is the day when people from Bangladesh fought for the recognition of the Bangla language and as a result, international mother language day was started to celebrate around the world.
According to the UN, there are around 6000 languages that are spoken around the world and 43 percent of them are endangered. International mother language day is celebrated to understand the importance of multilingualism and also to promote and preserve it.
How is it celebrated?
Every year different theme is applied to celebrate the international mother language by holding events in its headquarters in Paris, France. As for the example, there was a focus on braille and sign language in 2005, and in 2017, there was a focus on how multilingual education could help the world to have a better future. Other countries also hold different projects to mark up this day.
Everyone has the right to use their mother language and to keep the memories, traditions, and ways of thinking that their language represents and this is what the International mother language is all about. Thank you for reading till the end. Have a good day!