International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day is a globally recognized observance that takes place on February 21st every year. The day is dedicated to promoting linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as multilingualism around the world. It is an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the importance of all languages, particularly mother tongues, which are the first languages we learn and are deeply intertwined with our cultural identity.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially declared International Mother Language Day in November 1999, in response to a tragic event that took place in Bangladesh on February 21, 1952. On that day, students and activists protested for the recognition of Bengali as one of the official languages of Pakistan. The peaceful demonstration turned violent, and several protesters were killed by the police. The event became known as the Language Movement, and it eventually led to the recognition of Bengali as an official language of Pakistan in 1956, and later, the establishment of Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971.

International Mother Language Day aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity as a means of achieving unity and mutual understanding among people. It also highlights the need to preserve endangered languages and promote multilingual education, which can foster intercultural dialogue, social inclusion, and sustainable development.

On this day, many countries and organizations organize events, seminars, and conferences to celebrate and promote linguistic diversity, while also highlighting the importance of preserving and promoting mother tongues.

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