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International Mother Language Day 2021 : Theme

International Mother Language Day:

Every year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates 21st February as International Mother Language Day to promote mother tongue-based multilingual education.

  • The theme of the 2021 celebrations, “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society,” recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals focus on leaving no one behind.
  • The world has over 7,000 languages whereas India alone has about 22 officially recognized languages, 1635 mother tongues, and 234 identifiable mother tongues.

International Mother Language Day:

  • UNESCO declared 21st February as International Mother Language Day in 1999 and World has been celebrating the same since 2000.
  • The day also commemorates a long struggle by Bangladesh to protect its mother language Bangla.
  • The resolution to mark 21st February as the International Mother Language Day was suggested by Rafiqul Islam, a Bangladeshi living in Canada. He proposed the said date to commemorate the 1952 killings in Dhaka during the Bangla Language Movement.
  • The initiative is aimed at preserving and promoting mother languages. The aim is to protect the diverse culture and intellectual heritage of different regions of the world.
  • According to the United Nations (UN), every two weeks, a language disappears and the world loses an entire cultural and intellectual heritage.
  • Due to globalization, the rush for learning foreign languages for better job opportunities is a major reason behind the disappearance of mother languages.
  • At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered.
  • Only a few hundred languages have been genuinely given a place in education systems and public domain. Also, 40% of the global population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand.
  • Less than a hundred languages are used in the digital world.