International Mother Language Day 2024: Date, history, significance and theme - Hindustan Times

International Mother Language Day 2024: Date, history, significance and theme

By, Delhi
Feb 21, 2024 10:04 AM IST

International Mother Language Day 2024: Here's all you need to know about the date, history, significance and theme of International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day 2024: Language forms the foundation block in communication. It is important to respect, acknowledge and understand each other's language to effectively communicate. The world is a plethora of languages, cultures and traditions. Each language also varies in dialects. With every few kilometers, the dialects change, and the language starts to differ. While it can seem confusing, such is the beauty of diversity in the world, and finding ways to collaborate and connect with each other. India stands as an emblem of linguistic and cultural diversity for the world with the varieties of dialects spoken across the country.

International Mother Language Day 2024: Date, history and significance(Shutterstock)
International Mother Language Day 2024: Date, history and significance(Shutterstock)

However, the movement for International Mother Language Day did not start in India – it started in Bangladesh. As we gear up to celebrate the special day, here are a few facts to know:

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Every year, International Mother Language Day is observed on February 21, this year, the special day falls on a Wednesday.


On February 21, 1952, four students got killed as they started the movement to make Bengali as the official language in Bangladesh. In November, 1999, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed International Mother Language Day, which was later welcomed by the General Assembly of the UN.


The theme for this year's International Mother Language Day is - Multilingual education – a pillar of learning and intergenerational learning. "Multilingual and multicultural societies thrive through the preservation of their languages, which serve as conduits for traditional knowledge and cultural heritage. However, linguistic diversity faces increasing threats as more languages vanish. Currently, 40% of the global population lacks access to education in their native language, a figure that exceeds 90% in certain regions. Research underscores the benefits of using learners' native languages in education, fostering better learning outcomes, self-esteem, and critical thinking skills. This approach also supports intergenerational learning and cultural preservation," wrote the United Nations on its official website.

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    Tapatrisha is Content Producer with Hindustan Times. She covers stories related to health, relationships, and fashion.

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