International mother language day (IMLD) is observed worldwide on 21st February of every year to promote the culture & linguistic diversity and multilingualism.
Firstly announced on 17 November 1999,by UNSECO at their general conference. Since 2000, the day is observed every year on 21st February.
Out of over 6,000 languages, as much as 50 per cent of these languages are dying, 40 per cent are endangered and 90 per cent of the world population speaks about 300 majority languages. Only 100 languages are used in the education.
The motive to celebrate International Mother language day is to aware people about using their mother language so that we can prevent hundred of rare languages from dying.
History of International Mother Language Day
February 21 was declared as International Mother Language Day by UNESCO in 1999. But do you know about the History of International Mother Language Day? Why February 21 was chosen as IMLD?
International Mother Language Day originated as the international recognition of Language Movement Day, which has been commemorated in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 1952, when a number of Dhaka university students were killed by the Pakistani police and army in Dhaka during the Bengali Language Movement.
This is the only event where people give their lives to keep the independence of using their mother language. To remember them there is a monument named Language Martyr’s Monument (Shahid Minar) in Dhaka University, Bangladesh.
Every year more than a million people give flowers there. This is a big event in Bangladesh. Many foreigners visit Bangladesh just to experience the way of Bangladeshi people give respect to those brave hearts. In every town of Bangladesh has Language Martyr’s Monument, where local people gives flowers. Language Martyr’s Monument is also built in Ikebukoro park of Tokyo- Japan.
There are more than one Language Martyr’s Monument in USA, UK, Italy and many other countries. Please think about your Mother Language not only in February 21 but also in other days.
Did you know?
- The alternate name of International Mother’s Language day is Shaheed Day, Martyrs Day, Omar Ekushey (meaning The Immortal 21st). It is a public holiday in Bangladesh country only
- UNESCO sets the theme of IMLD every year. The theme of International Mother’s Language day 2012 was “Mother tongue instruction and inclusive education”
- UNESCO also releases press note about this event to spread more awareness about IMLD.
What should be your contribution?
This is a very rare day with a great importance. Our contributions are needed for this day.
- If you are an student you should meet your friends & try to know more about their culture & tradition as you can explore many student in your school/college who come from a different culture/country.
- Apart from those cultural activities such as movies, songs of different countries can be played to celebrate this day.
- Teachers should tell their pupil that their mother language is different that what they read at their school. They are needed to aware about their culture & language.
Source & Credits: Wiki Article on IMLD