International Mother Language Day, also known as Shohid Dibosh or Martyr Day in Bangladesh, is celebrated every year on February 21 to raise awareness about linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism. It additionally recollects occasions, for example, the killing of four students on February 21, 1952, because they campaigned to formally use their mother language, Bengali, in Bangladesh. The theme of 2020 for this day is “Indigenous languages matter for development, peacebuilding, and reconciliation”.
Reported by UNESCO in 1999, International Mother Language Day celebrates cultural diversity and remembers the “language martyr” students of 1952 Bangladesh. These students are honored by the encouragement of multiculturalism and the promotion of defensive measures for endangered languages.
The day urges countries to give significance to their mother language alongside various dialects to preserve their cultural identity.
International Mother Language Day is lauded to propel people to keep up a knowledge of their mother language while learning and utilizing more than one dialect to make the learning system simpler and safeguarding their cultural identity.
On Mother Language Day, both open and private associations hold distinctive activities including courses, seminars, and cultural occasions to highlight the significance of cultural and linguistic diversity.
International Mother Language Day History
In 1947, the Bengal Province of India was isolated by the prevalent religions of the individuals who lived there. The eastern part of India became an area of Pakistan known as East Bengal (later known as East Pakistan), while the western part of the nation stayed in India. After some time, pressures started to run intense between East and West Pakistan because of different cultural and lingual clashes between the occupants. These strains prompted the Pakistan government announcing Urdu as the sole national language in 1948. Thus, this caused the Bengali-talking larger part of East Pakistan to protest. The Pakistan government immediately banned these protests however they proceeded. As time passed by, strains kept on heightening.
On February 21, 1952, students at the University of Dhaka began a protest. Four of these students were fired upon and killed by the police. This lone encouraged the movement to give individuals the option to utilize their mother language. As the years passed, distress kept on rising, even as Bengali speakers turned out to campaign for the option to utilize their mother language. On February 29, 1956, Bengali became the official language in Pakistan. In 1971, the Bangladesh Liberation War brought about Bangladesh becoming its county with its official language being Bengali.
In 1999, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) chose to make February 21st International Mother Language Day, in recognition of those martyred students. The next year, on Feb. 21, 2000, it was observed for the first time. Every year, a new theme is picked by the United Nations for this recognition day.
2020 International Mother Language Day Theme
The theme of 2020 for International Mother Language Day is “Indigenous languages matter for development, peacebuilding, and reconciliation”
Why do we celebrate International Mother Language Day?
Languages, with their multifaceted consequences for identity, social combination, communication, education, and advancement, are of crucial importance for individuals and the planet. Be that as it may, as a result of globalization forms, languages are under peril of vanishing altogether. At the point when languages vanish, so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity.
As per a recent finding, around 43% of the evaluated 6000 languages spoken on the planet are imperiled. Only a few hundred languages have been given somewhere in the present education systems, and not exactly a hundred are used in the digital world.
We celebrate International Mother Language Day to promote linguistic and cultural diversity. Languages are the primary elements of protecting and working up our legacy. Celebrating International Mother Language Day will serve not solely to enable linguistic diversity and multilingual education yet also to make all the more full cognizance of linguistic and cultural customs all through the world.
How to celebrate International Mother Language Day 2020?
On International Mother Language Day the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN offices take an interest in occasions that promote linguistic and cultural diversity. They additionally urge individuals to keep up their insight into their mother language while learning and utilizing more than one language. Governments and non-administrative associations may utilize the day to declare policies to encourage language learning and support.
In Bangladesh, February 21 is the anniversary of a pivotal day in the nation’s history. Individuals lay flowers at a Shaheed Minar (martyr’s landmark). They additionally: buy glass bangles for themselves or female family members; eat a happy dinner and organize parties; and award prizes or host literary competitions. The time has come to observe Bangladesh’s culture and the Bengali language.
The Linguapax Institute, in Barcelona, Spain, expects to protect and promote linguistic diversity universally. The institute displays the Linguapax Prize on International Mother Language Day every year. The prize is for the individuals who have made remarkable work in semantic diversity or multilingual training.
International Mother Language Day is a public holiday in Bangladesh, where it is otherwise called Shohid Dibôsh, or Shaheed Day. It is a worldwide recognition however not a public holiday in other parts of the world.
Every year, UNESCO hosts various occasions that promote linguistic diversity as well as cultural diversity too. This organization likewise urges individuals to keep their mother language being used as well as to gain proficiency with extra languages too. The United Nations likewise utilizes International Mother Language Day to make declarations about policy changes as they identify with language learning and the help of this endeavor. In Bangladesh, this day isn’t only a U.N sanctioned recognition day but is also a significant day in their history books. Individuals everywhere throughout the nation have parties and organize extreme dinners. It is likewise a day to praise the Bengali language and the culture of Bangladesh.
On International Mother Language Day, individuals of all countries are urged to keep up the knowledge of their mother language while learning and utilizing various languages. Governments and non-authoritative associations likewise use the day to pronounce policies to empower language learning and support.
In Bangladesh, the International Mother Language Day is celebrated with full excitement. The day of February 21 in Bangladesh begins with placing blossoms at the Martyrs’ Monument (where four Bengali students are buried who passed on battling for the right to utilize their mother language). Otherwise called Shohid Dibosh (Martyr Day) in Bangladesh, the day denotes a public holiday in the country. The primary features of the day incorporate parties, cultural shows, celebrations regarding the Bengali language, and literary competitions.
Other than Bangladesh, there are International Mother Language Day festivities over the globe, including nations like Pakistan, India, France, Canada, Australia, and Spain. Numerous award shows like Linguapax Prize, Ekushey Heritage Award, Ekushey Youth Award are likewise organized on this day – perceiving extraordinary accomplishment in fields, for example, preservation of linguistic diversity, education, the advancement of multilingualism, social work, and community service.
International Mother Language Day is an extraordinary day for an individual to praise their language or to start learning another one. It is likewise a decent day to find out about the nation of Bangladesh – particularly if you are a resident.