International Mother Language Day, February 21st

International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on the 21st of February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

The main purpose of celebrating this day is to promote the awareness of language and cultural diversity all across the world.

The date of February 21st is significant in that it represents lives lost by the people of Bangladesh in their fight to retain their mother language. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) honoured this date as a way to acknowledge to the world that we will never forget the sacrifices made for language rights. International Mother Language Day was first announced by UNESCO on November 17, 1999. Since then it is being celebrated every year, throughout the world.

Languages are the most powerful way to preserve and develop culture.  On International Mother Language Day UNESCO and other UN agencies take part in the events to promote cultural and linguistic diversity all around the world. They appreciate and encourage people to be knowledgeable about their mother language and provide them with awareness regarding the promotion of their language and culture towards other countries. UNESCO’s 2020 International Mother Language Day theme is “Languages without borders” and will contribute to promoting peaceful dialogue and social inclusion. See UNESCO 2020

I am promoting International Mother Language Day on February 21st as a day of celebration, to support linguistic and cultural diversity in an effort to build peace and understanding between all nations and ethnic groups in our society.  In Winnipeg, we know of one public event occurring on February 21st which everyone is invited to, and a local school is also acknowledging Mother Language Day:

Public Event:

Canada Bangladesh Association will be hosting International Mother Language celebrations at University Center, University of Manitoba on Friday, February 21 @ 7.00 pm.

  • The event will be organized jointly by Canada Bangladesh Association(CBA) & University of Manitoba Bangladesh Students Association(UMBSA)

 School Event:

  • Bairdmore School, a UNESCO school in Richmond West, will be holding a special assembly for the staff and students, celebrating languages and cultural diversity.