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International Mother Language Day

February 21, 2023 All day

February 21st is International Mother Language Day!

International Mother Language Day is a global observance held on February 21st each year. The day was first proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The day is intended to raise awareness about the importance of preserving and promoting the use of mother languages, and to celebrate the linguistic and cultural diversity of the world. It is a reminder that language is not just a means of communication, but also a repository of cultural heritage, values, and traditions.

International Mother Language Day also commemorates the sacrifices made by students and activists who fought to preserve their mother language in Bangladesh. On February 21, 1952, a group of students and activists protested against the imposition of Urdu as the sole official language of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The protest ended in violence, with several students killed by police. The event became a symbol of the struggle for linguistic rights and cultural identity, and led to the recognition of Bangla (Bengali) as an official language of Pakistan.

On International Mother Language Day, people all over the world celebrate their mother language and the diversity of language and culture. They may attend cultural events, participate in language-learning activities, or simply reflect on the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity.

International Mother Language Day is an opportunity to recognize the value of mother languages, to promote linguistic diversity, and to celebrate the rich cultural heritage that is embodied in language.

Happy International Mother Language Day!