On February 21, the world celebrates International Mother Language Day, a day that recognizes the importance of linguistic diversity and the promotion of multilingualism. The day also commemorates the sacrifice of language martyrs in Bangladesh, who gave their lives to protect the Bengali language during the Language Movement in 1952.
Language is the foundation of culture, and it is through language that we are able to express our thoughts, emotions, and ideas. In Bangladesh, the significance of language is deeply rooted in the country's history and identity. Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh and it is spoken by more than 98% of the population. The Language Movement was a pivotal moment in the country's history, as it demonstrated the people's commitment to preserving their language and culture.
Today, Bangladesh celebrates International Mother Language Day with great enthusiasm. The day is marked by cultural programs, parades, and events that promote linguistic and cultural diversity. Schools and universities organize debates, essay writing competitions, and language-related activities to raise awareness about the importance of language and its preservation.
As we celebrate this day, it is important to recognize the current scenario of language diversity in the world. According to UNESCO, almost 43% of the world's languages are endangered, and the loss of a language can have serious consequences for a community's cultural heritage and knowledge systems. Therefore, it is crucial to promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism, both at the national and global levels.
On this day, we also urge young generations to embrace their mother tongue and learn new languages. Multilingualism provides numerous benefits, including increased cognitive abilities, better job prospects, and the ability to communicate with people from different cultures. Through language learning, we can break down barriers and build bridges between communities.
Looking to the future, we need to continue our efforts to protect and promote linguistic diversity. This includes creating policies that support the preservation of endangered languages, providing access to language education for all, and celebrating the beauty and richness of different languages and cultures.
On this International Mother Language Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to language diversity and multilingualism, and work towards a future where all languages are celebrated and preserved for generations to come.
The writer is a student of Institute of Information Sciences, Noakhali Science and Technology University.