International Language Day. 

International mother tongue day is celebrated every year on 21 February worldwide to support awareness of linguistic and cultural dissimilarity and multilingualism. International Mother Language Day has been celebrated since a UN resolution in 1999, but the history goes back to 1949 -1952. Urdu was declared the national language in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1949. Bangla (Bengali) speakers protested in order to  maintain their own linguistic identity. Mother Language Day’s date originates   from the crisis point reached on February 21,1952, when students involved in a protest and  were brutally  killed by police.

This day every year their death is remembered in Bangladesh. .Bengali is now one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.[date accessed 27/02/12]

Since Mother Language Day was  first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999  this organisation  has been  working every day to protect linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote equality, and development. For example, in the Republic of Korea, following the inclusion of the “jeju”  in the critically endangered group of UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, in 2010, several projects helped  inhabitants of the “Jeju” island preserve the vitality and long-term survival of the” jeju” language. To recognize the importance of linguistic diversity, the UNESCO General Conference made International Mother Language Day .The International language day celebration promotes also multilingual education. It aims to help develop better awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

There are 6000 languages spoken world-wide. And those languages could die out by the end of the century.  “Languages are who we are. By protecting them, we protect ourselves”, – said UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova .  If language do not exist then culture is lost. The mother tongue is important for the identity of the individual. Through the mother tongue communication is more effective and meaningful. Through the mother tongue children can receive effective education

Different countries celebrated mother tongue day  differently.  For example in Bangladesh, people lay flowers at a Shaheed Minar (it is a monument that  consists of four standing marble frames and a larger double marble frame with a slanted top portion. The frames stand on a stage, which is raised about four meters (14 feet) above the ground. The four frames represent the four men who died on February 21, 1952, and the double frame represents their mothers and country. ) They also: purchase glass bangles for themselves or female relatives; eat a festive meal and organize parties; and award prizes or host literary competitions.[date accessed 27/02/12]

Language is the key to communication. Knowing several languages is really important, people travel, meet new people, they have to communicate. People can have several first languages.

“Mother tongue” means a person’s native language. But also person  may be a native speaker of more than one language, it is called multilingual. For multi-lingual people like me, the first language might change as life moves as well as the land. Mother tongue, first language, native language is the languages that people speak from childhood. BUT sometimes people move from one place to another, and then they speak another language. For example a child was born in Chine and was speaking Chinese during childhood, but then moved to US and started speaking English for a long period of time, and then that person can be more fluent in English that in Chinese. Mother tongue is the language of your country, but your first language might be a different one. The language you dream in tells you what language your better and comfortable in.

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