World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Bangladesh and International Mother Language Day

How Bangladesh spearheaded creation of International Mother Language Day


21 February 2019
Culture and Education
Concerned that one language goes extinct every two weeks, the United Nations is honouring linguistic diversity and celebrating indigenous languages on International Mother Language Day. And the roots of the Day start in a South-Asian country with a bloody and historic connection to 21 February.

“We have to protect our heritage, our culture, our existence,” said Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, of Bangladesh, the country which successfully lobbied the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999 to create International Mother Language Day. The UN General Assembly formally recognized the Day in 2008.

The origins of the Day began before 21 February 1952, but erupted on that day, when students at the University of Dhaka and other activists protested a Government order declaring Urdu as the sole national language. Bangladesh at the time was part of Pakistan. The deadly protest provoked widespread unrest, resulting in 1956, in Bengali being granted official status.


“It is a part of our Bengali nationalism to promote and commemorate this Day for the protection of not only our language but all those struggles elsewhere around the world,” Mr. Momen told UN News.

He said International Mother Language Day also celebrates multilingualism worldwide, promoting more tolerance and a “sense of culture of peace and harmony where diversity does not mean harmful for the global citizen but diversity is also a powerful instrument.”



Watch the entire television interview with Mr. Momen on YouTube, or listen to our highlights on SoundCloud.

As part of the Day’s celebrations, the United Nations Postal Administration will issue 18 World Language stamps, each saying “hello” in English and in a dozen other languages.

A special event will be organized on 21 February in New York, organized by Bangladesh, Guatemala, Mozambique, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea, in collaboration with the United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC), the UN Postal Administration (UNPA) and the New York Office of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Dog's Brexit: UK MPs Vote Against Amended Deal

MPs in UK's House of Commons this morning have rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's amended Brexit deal... If a no-deal option is rejected, MPs could get a vote on Friday on whether to request a delay to Brexit from the EU. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: The World Talks While Kiribati Suffers

As public discussion on climate change and ways to arrest its impact continue around the world, one of many low-lying atolls in the Pacific wrestles with the issue right now. More>>

Gordon Campbell On Kashmir Escalation And... Why This Guy Shouldn’t Get Nukes

All but unnoticed, two of the world’s nuclear powers have been preparing to go to war this week. Military action has been ramping up between India and Pakistan over (as usual) the disputed territory of Kashmir... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Anti-Corbyn Split In British Labour

The resignation of seven UK Labour MPs in protest against the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is another example of the centre-left’s readiness to sabotage its own cause ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC