Celebrations often are a direct outcome of people’s sacrifice for their creed. This also applies to the International Mother Language Day celebrated annually on the 21st of February. On November 17, 1999, UNESCO first declared the International Mother Language Day, as a remembrance of the four Bengali martyred students who sacrificed their lives so that their mother tongue, Bangla language would gain recognition by the Indian state.
Hence, it is the reason we celebrate multilingual and awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity around the world.
The importance of mother language goes way beyond cultural heritage and multilingualism. It speaks of our construct as human beings, because language dictates the way in which we think, understand the world, and decode the universe.
Our mother language is part of who we are, a birthright and gift that we more often than not take for granted.
Today we can have more gratitude and bring more awareness to our mother language or dialect, as something that makes us special and different from others but at the same time, something that brings together with different people, through embracing multilingualism.
Even more so, this day also stands for taking up a new language and the importance of multilingual education. Every language in the world is someone’s mother language, part of his or her history, culture, and education. Which is truly beautiful.
When we begin learning a new language is like embracing our differences and understanding our similarities. Globalism and economics today have pretty much pushed us to embrace other cultures through new language learning. If we look at the bright side of things, this also means more unity in the world, because when we learn another language we understand a different culture, a different history and point of view.
Languages are wonderful. They are the keys to our past and predictions of our future.
Our mother language is an unbreakable link throughout time, people, and circumstances that have kept us together and helped us move forward. This is a wonderful day to celebrate that!