International Mother Language Day 2023: February 21 | History, Theme, Significance & Quotes
Feb 21 2023
International Mother Language Day 2023: 21st February 2023 is to be celebrated as the international mother language day 2023 of this year. Every year February 21 is celebrated as international mother language day 2023 all over the world. It is a worldwide annual observance to bring awareness among people about linguistic and cultural diversities. It is celebrated to promote multilingualism among people all over the world. International mother language day 2023 was announced by UNESCO (United Nations Education and Scientific Culture Organisation) on November 17, 1999. It was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002. International mother language day 2023 is an initiative “ to promote preservation and protection of all languages used by the people all over the world”. This was adopted on May 16, 2007, by United Nations General Assembly and established in 2008. The year 2008 was considered the international mother language year, to “promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multicultural. Bangladesh was the one that started the initiative of international mother language day 2023.
International mother language day 2023 is considered to recognize that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion and development goals. This focuses on leaving no one behind. Education that is based on first language or mother tongue must be promoted from the early days of childhood, as education is the base of learning. Mother tongue and Native language have similar, meanings and are often actually interchangeable, however, there is a subtle difference. Native language refers to the language of the area the person grows up in. Mother tongue refers to the language of the family you grew up in.
International Mother Language Day History
- UNESCO declared February 21 st as international mother language day in the year 1999 and has been witnessed all throughout the world since 2000.
- This declaration of mother language day came into existence as a tribute to the language movement in Bangladesh. When Pakistan was separated in 1947 it has two partitions that are East Pakistan and West Pakistan.
- The two parts were extremely different from each other in the sense of culture and languages. In 1948, the Pakistani government declared Urdu as the national language of both east and west Pakistan. But the majority of the people in both east and west Pakistan had Bengali or Bangla.
- The East Pakistan people started a protest as they have Bengali as their mother tongue. They demanded Bengali be at least one of the national languages in addition to Urdu.
- This was raised first by Dhirendranath Datta on February 23, 1948. To demolish the protest, the government of Pakistan outlawed public meetings and rallies.
- The students of the University of Dhaka, with the support of the general public, arranged massive rallies and meetings. On 21 February 1952, police opened fire on rallies. Three people died, with hundreds of others injured. This was a rare incident in history, where people sacrificed their lives for their mother tongue.
- Since then, Bangladeshis celebrate International Mother Language Day as one of their tragic days. They visit the Shaheed Minar, a monument built-in memory of the martyrs and its replicas to express their deep sorrow, respect, and gratitude to them. International Mother Language Day is a national holiday in Bangladesh.
- The resolution was suggested by Rafiqul Islam and Abdus Salam, Bengalis living in Vancouver, Canada. They wrote a letter to Kofi Annan on 9 January 1998 asking him to take a step toward saving the world's languages from extinction by declaring an International Mother Language Day.
- Rafiq proposed the date as 21 February to commemorate the 1952 killings in Dhaka during the Language Movement. Rafiqul Islam's proposal was introduced in the Bangladesh Parliament and in due course (at the behest of the Prime Minister) a formal proposal was submitted to UNESCO by the government of Bangladesh.
- The process of shepherding the proposal through UNESCO's regulatory system was undertaken by Syed Muazzem Ali, then Bangladesh ambassador to France and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, and Tozammel Tony Huq, his predecessor, who was then a Special Adviser to UNESCO Secretary-General.
- Finally, on 17 November 1999, the 30th General Assembly of UNESCO unanimously resolved that "21st February be proclaimed International Mother Language Day throughout the world to commemorate the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on this very day in 1952.
International Mother Language Day 2023 Theme
International Mother Language Day 2023 Theme, “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education”, raises the potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all. Technology has the potential to address some of the greatest challenges in education today. It can accelerate efforts toward ensuring equitable and inclusive lifelong learning opportunities for all if it is guided by the core principles of inclusion and equity. Multilingual education based on the mother tongue is a key component of inclusion in education. According to the United Nations (UN), every two weeks, a language disappears and the world loses an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Due to globalization, the rush for learning foreign languages for better job opportunities is a major reason behind the disappearance of mother languages. At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have been genuinely given a place in education systems and the public domain. Also, 40% of the global population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand. Less than a hundred languages are used in the digital world.
International Mother Language Day 2023 Significance
International mother language day 2023 is considered to recognize that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion and development goals. This focuses on leaving no one behind. Education that is based on first language or mother tongue must be promoted from the early days of childhood, as education is the base of learning. According to the United Nations (UN), every two weeks, a language disappears and the world loses an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Due to globalization, the rush for learning foreign languages for better job opportunities is a major reason behind the disappearance of mother languages. At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Instructions in their mother tongue empower students with the subject and language of their choice. It will help in building a truly multilingual society in India, improve attendance and learning outcomes, and the ability to learn new languages.
International Mother Language Day 2023 Quotes
- A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.
- For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.
- Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.
- To have another language is to possess a second soul.
- Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.
- Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone.
- Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak foreign languages.
- I have been a believer in the magic of language since, at a very early age, I discovered that some words got me into trouble and others got me out.
- Language is wine upon the lips.
We hope this article has provided detailed information about the international Mother Language. The history, significance, and theme of the International Mother Language are explained here. Each and everyone can find this article useful to know about valentine's day. The aspirants appearing for the competitive exam can check the information about Mother Language day in this article.
International Mother Language Day 2023 FAQs
Q. Which is the mother language of all languages?
A. Sanskrit is known as the mother of all languages.
Q. Which is the first language of the world?
A. Mandarin Chinese is the first language with a percentage of 11.922 of the world’s population.
Q. Which is the king of all languages?
A. English is the primary vehicle for communication. It is a tool for understanding.
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