Countries started celebrating International Mother Language Day on 21st February each year from 2000, after UNESCO gave its approval for the same. It was approved to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
It is believed that the same increases and helps in sustainable development goals. As early years and childhood education and care becomes the foundation of learning, it becomes important to begin the same from early years and make the education based on the first language or mother tongue.
It was time and again seen that due to internal conflicts and the want to dictate over one another different linguistic groups went on wars and killed each other. It was done so because some of these groups were oppressed or some of them wanted to oppress or stop the other one from speaking in their mother tongue.
International Mother Language Day
The need to recognize one’s mother tongue was time and again being discussed at the UN general assembly due to the increasing number of wars and inter country conflicts. In the year 1999, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) welcomed and proclaimed International Mother Language Day in its General Conference, a resolution was further passed by the UN General Assembly in year 2002 as a welcoming step. It is observed on 21st February to actually recognize the 1952 Bengali Language Movement in Bangladesh which is one of the major conflicts which arose due to the difference and intolerance for other linguistic groups.
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When the Division of India happened in 1947 the province of Bengal got divided into two parts one was called Pakistan and the other was called East Bengal or Bangladesh. Since the very beginning these two countries had many issues related to social, cultural and economic differences but the main issue remained Language. The spark of the movement amongst the Bengali speaking majority came when the Pakistan government in 1948 announced Urdu as National Language.
The protest went so out of control that the police had to be called and they fired at the public protesting for their mother language in their university. Four students on 21st February 1952 lost their lives in this firing, while protesting for the protection of their mother language. And thus, when UNESCO announced to make an International Mother Language Day it decided to dedicate the day to those who list their lives and thus since that year, we have celebrated it on 21st February on an International Level.
Some FAQ about Mother Language Day
Q. Why is International Mother Language Day celebrated?
Ans: – It was approved to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. When UNESCO announced to make an International Mother Language Day it decided to dedicate the day to those who list their lives in protesting to protect their mother tongue. Thus, since that year we have celebrated it on 21st February on an International Level.
Q. Who started International Mother Language Day?
Ans: – UNESCO
Q. What is a theme for 2022 International Mother Language Day?
Ans: – It has been observed since 2000. The theme for 2022 is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities.
Q. Which is international mother language?
Ans: – there is no International Mother Language.