The United Nations(UN)’s International Mother Language Day is annually observed across the globe on 21st February to promote multilingualism and to create awareness about linguistic and cultural diversity.
The theme of International Mother Language Day 2022 is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”.
- The theme discusses the major role of technology to advance multilingual education and assist the development of quality teaching and learning for all.
i.The celebration of International Mother Language Day is an initiative proposed by Bangladesh.
ii.On 17th November 1999, the UNESCO General Conference approved the observance of February 21 as the International Mother Language Day and has been observed across the globe since 2000.
iii.The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/56/262 (Multilingualism) in 2002 and formally recognized the 21st February of every year as International Mother Language Day.
Why February 21?
On 21st February 1952, The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest to officially use their mother language, Bangla, in Bangladesh(then East Pakistan).
- The day is also known as Shohid Dibôsh, or Shaheed Day in Bangladesh.
Observance in India: Matrubhasha Diwas:
On the occasion of the International Mother Language Day (Matrubhasha Diwas), the Ministry of Culture, Government of India has organised 2-day events (21st & 22d February 2022) under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav at Indira Gandhi National Center of Arts, New Delhi, Delhi.
i.The Ministry of Culture has organised a 2-day programme in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA) and UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office in physical and virtual format.
- Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State(MoS), Ministry of Culture formally released the ‘Vande Bharatam’ soundtrack during the ‘Ekam Bharatam’ event.
- The soundtrack, co-created by Ricky Kej, who won the Grammy Award (2015) for ‘Winds of Samsara’, along with tabla maestro Bikram Ghosh, was a part of the dance presentations by the Ministry of Culture on Republic Day event 2022.
ii.A webinar on ‘Using Technology for Multilingual Learning: Challenges and Opportunities’ was also conducted as a part of the event.
iii.A book titled ‘Tribal and Indigenous Languages of India” authored by Prof. Ramesh C Gaur, Dean of IGNCA was launched during the event.