Today is the 11th International Mother Language Day. 21 February was proclaimed the International Mother Language Day by the General Conference of UNESCO in November 1999 and has been observed yearly since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
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 year mulitlingualism is key on the agenda. Multilingualism is essential to the conversation that leads to mutual understanding. Language learning and translation are therefore vital to the unity of humankind.
Today think global, act local …
- check out the UNESCO website and find out what is being done to promote multilingualism
- look into studying a new language. Learning a new language can be a very fullfilling and enriching experience. This can be as simple as going to a local college and completing a course for travel, studying at a language school or even going to university (either on-campus or distance)
- find more out about another culture within your community. This can be as simple as trying some new food.