Celebrate International Mother Language Day: 21 February 2014

by Jules on February 21, 2014

Did you know that each year on the 21st February the world looks to their roots in celebration of the International Mother Language Day which was established by UNESCO in 1999.

It’s especially pertinent to me this year, as I’ve just discovered that I’ve got an extensive ‘secret’ Scottish family – thanks to many hours spent tracing my (very complicated) family tree!

UNESCO devised the dedicated day to promote cultural diversity and raise awareness of multilingualism. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about your own heritage, nuances of the local language and culture.

The origins of the day have a serious side too; born out of the date in 1952 where Bengali students in Dhaka were shot and killed by local police as they sought to raise awareness of their language, in what became known as the Bengali Language Movement of 1952. Both Bangladesh and Sydney in Australia have monuments to that date. The Shaheed Minar is better known as the Martyr’s monument and stands within Dhaka’s University Campus in Bangladesh. It stands as a testament of the sacrifice made for the Bengali Language on 21 February 1952.

Find out what’s going on where you live via the official Facebook page.

Image credit: Wikipedia CC-ASA-3.0

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