Friday, February 21, 2014

[MLE] Congratulations with International Mother Language Day!

Congrats, Multilingual Education Friends, today is International Mother Language day!


A nice description on West-Info-eu is given as follows:

Today 21st February , the International Mother Language Day is celebrated. Proclaimed the first time in 1999 by UNESCO, it is an important initiative to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multiculturalism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh. However, due to globalization processes, languages are increasingly under threat  to the point that more than 50% of the 7,000 idioms spoken worldwide are likely to die out within a few generations and 96% of these languages are spoken by a mere 4% of the world’s population. The aim of this event, then, is to promote and develop fuller  awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

In Odisha the mother language day was celebrated in the presence of 500 tribal leaders from 20 different districts and, hurray, the theme of the meeting was: Mother Tongue is the need for early childhood education. At the Imphal celebration it was emphasized that Manipuri should be developed as a link language. Even in the Lok Sabha attention was given to the day with a plea for the recognition of Bojpuri.

For this occasion Vasant Shetty wrote on IBN/CNN an article on Time for India to implement a multi-lingual policy. A quote:
Current language policy of the European Union holds a classic testimony on how linguistic diversity should be celebrated and not cursed. Remember, Europeans learnt this lesson in a bitter way after the devastating Second World War!