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International Mother Language Day

21 February was declared to be International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17th November,1999. It has been observed throughout the world since 21 February 2000. The declaration came up in tribute to the Language Movement done by the Bangladeshis (then the East Pakistanis).


UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.  




It is observed on 21 February to spread awareness about the importance of linguistic, cultural diversity, and multilingualism. Check below the theme of the day, its history behind celebration, significance, etc. India is home to hundreds of languages and thousands of dialects which make its linguistic and cultural diversity the most unique in the world. Language is not only a means of communication but it also represents a diverse cultural and intellectual heritage.


No doubt this initiative increased awareness regarding problems related to languages and mobilise resources and partners to support the implementation of strategies and policies for language diversity and multilingualism in several parts of the world.


We can't ignore that language is fundamental to the communication of all kinds and communication plays an important role in making change and development in human society. Let us tell you that the International Year of Languages was created when linguistic diversity was increasingly threatened.


The theme of International Mother Language Day celebration 2024 is “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning”. Today, 250 million children and young people still do not attend school and 763 million adults do not master basic literacy skills.

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