International Mother Language Day 2020: To celebrate and safeguard linguistic diversity across the globe people celebrate International Mother Language Day on 21st February. This day has been observed every year since Feb 2000 to promote multilingualism.
Why is International Mother Language Day celebrated on 21 February?
The day has its roots dating back to 1952, when students of Dhaka University in Bangladesh protested and organized rallies to re-instate Bangla, their mother tongue (which was spoken by a majority of people in Bangladesh) as their national language. After the partition of India and Pakistan the Pakistani Government declared Urdu as the sole national of East Pakistan and West Pakistan both. The people of east Pakistan (now Bangladesh) fought and sacrificed their lives for their mother tongue. In 1956, the government granted official status to Bangla or Bengali. Although Bangaldesh became independent in 1971, the country still observes national holiday on 21st February and celebrates the International Mother Language Day.
What is the theme of International Mother Language Day 2020?
UNESCO is celebrating International Mother Language Day 2020 under the theme “Languages without borders.” As published on the official UNESCO website unesco.org “Local, cross-border languages can promote peaceful dialogue and help to preserve indigenous heritage. Speakers of Kiswahili across sub-Saharan Africa and Quechua in South America, for example, share a common culture with communities in neighbouring countries.”
As per the data on un.org “at least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.” Globalisation is one of the factors to blame for increasing threat various languages are under and all of us should strive to save the linguistic diversity of our region, our nation and our world.
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