Hi, P-assengers! How was your day? I hope you guys had a pleasant day. As you know, in this article we’ll talk about “International Mother Language Day”. But what is it? Well, maybe not much of you guys know that every 21st of February we celebrate International Mother Language Day. It’s the day to promote a diverse culture and multilingualism around the world. We’re gonna peel this topic slowly, okay?
Language, there are hundreds of countries on earth and of course, those humans from around the world speak a different language. For example, Americanspeak English, Koreanspeak Korean, and Indonesian speak Bahasa. Normally countries with close geography speak a similar language like Bahasa and Malay, but it is still different. Some countries speak the same language with a different accent as Australian, British, and American. A language is a tool for social creatures to communicate with each other. It has a critical role in our lives and it becomes something to represent us, it makes us stand out from each other. Mostly, one country only speaks one language. But there are several cases where one country citizens speak many languages. Such as Indonesia, China, Switzerland, and India.
The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day first came from Bangladesh. It was a tribute to the Language Movement done by Bangladesh. So it started when Pakistan was separated into 2 geographical parts, East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and West Pakistan (Pakistan). Both of them had two different cultures and languages plus they were also separated by India. Then in 1948, the government declared that Urdu was the sole national language of Pakistan although, Bangla was spoken by the majority of both sides of Pakistan. This statement led the East Pakistan citizens to protests because Bangla was their mother language. They demanded Bangla to be at least added to the national language, besides Urdu. On the 21st of February, 1952 the police opened fire on rallies and caused many people died, it was a rare incident where people sacrificed their lives for their mother language.
In November 1999, UNESCO declared the 21st of February as International Mother Language Day and since then people celebrate it every year around the world. The United Nations (UN) welcomed that decision on May 16 2002 through a resolution called “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”.
This year’s theme for this day is “fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society”. It encourages us to support and appreciate multilingualism plus the use of the mother language in everyday life. It’s very essential because, in reality, not everyone can afford to study only in English so UNESCO wants to pay more attention to multilingual education especially at a young age.
So, what do P-assengers think? Do you guys agree that multilingual education is important? Or maybe it’s not something that essential in today’s society? Whatever your opinion is we are sure that those were based on your perspective and tons of facts. Lastly, we hope this article is useful. Let’s meet at another time. Bye, P-assengers!