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International Mother Language Day

When> 21 Feb

Where> Across United Nations

What> International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism. The practice started in 2000 after UNESCO declared this day as the International Mother Language Day. The theme for this year is, “Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation”.

On International Mother Language Day the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN agencies participate in events that promote linguistic and cultural diversity. They also encourage people to maintain their knowledge of their mother language while learning and using more than one language.


This day remembers the sacrifice of the life of four students on February 21, 1952, because they campaigned to officially use their mother language, Bengali, in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, people lay flowers at a Shaheed Minar (martyr’s monument) and organize cultural programmes
including award and prizes or host literary competitions.

More Info> en.unesco.org/commemorations/motherlanguageday



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