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International Mother Language Day 2020: History, Theme And Importance

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is annually observed on 21 February. The day is observed with the aim of promoting awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

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

History Of International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 17 November 1999 and has been observed throughout the world since 21 February 2000. The day was initiated as a tribute to the Language Movement done by the Bangladeshis.

The date represents the day when four young students were killed in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh due to the Bengali and Urdu language controversy. International Mother Language Day is celebrated all over the world and is a public holiday in Bangladesh.

An International Mother Language Day monument was constructed at Ashfield Park in Sydney, Australia as a tribute to the four young lives lost on that day. The observance of the day every year is a reminder of the sacrifice the young lives had made in their fight against the dilapidated condition of language diversity.

On this day, UNESCO and other UN agencies take part in the events to promote cultural and linguistic diversity all around the world.

Theme Of International Mother Language Day

The 2020 theme is 'Languages without borders'. The 2020 International Mother Language Day edition will contribute to promoting peaceful dialogue and social inclusion. The theme is developed with the aim of creating an understanding on the recognition of and respect for linguistic and cultural diversity which contribute to strengthening the unity and cohesion of societies.

At least 43 per cent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered and the day adheres to creating awareness on the importance of language and how it impacts growth.

    Story first published: Friday, February 21, 2020, 14:17 [IST]
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