New Delhi: The International Mother Language Day is observed every year on February 21 to celebrate the importance of linguistic diversity.
The world has been observing the day since the year 2000, a year after the 1999 UNESCO General Conference approved the initiative proposed by Bangladesh.
February 21, locally called Ekushe February or just Ekushe, is one of the most important days observed in Bangladesh where many people, mostly the youth, sacrificed their lives in 1952 to save their mother tongue, Bangla, which was under threat when the country was East Pakistan.
UNESCO observes this day as it believes “multilingual and multicultural societies exist through languages that transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way”.
It is within its “mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others”.
On the occasion, let’s look at some of the most…