February 21 named 'International Mother Language Day' in Windsor

Children at the Dominica Creole Fest

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The observance was proclaimed by UNESCO's General Conference on 17 November 1999.

There are now about 6,000 languages in the world; nearly half of them face the danger of extinction.

Speakers at the protest said Pakistan was a multi-lingual state but successive governments had been ignoring the importance of mother languages as medium of instruction in schools, which had created a sense of deprivation among the indigenous people. He also recalled the huge contributions of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the 1952 language movement. "We all feel proud of our mother languages".

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It was the first Indian state that observed February 21 as Mother Language Day.

Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, said on the occasion of the 2018 International Mother Language Day that "our values, beliefs and identity" are embedded within language.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has urged the Federal Government to adopt language policies that would ensure the sustenance of mother tongue.

"I'm proud to have worked this hard and be recognised for my sterling work representing my language couldn't have been better because reading also helped with me falling in love with the language", she said.

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Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage.

"The right of education in the regional languages has been given to other provinces but in Punjab such a right is still denied by Punjab government".

Globalisation, with its emphasis on a narrow language base, is one of the most dominant factors that are forcing the minority languages into the background, forcing them out of circulation. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world while inspiring solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

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