Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Poets from different countries recited poems in their mother tongues at a ceremony held on Thursday in Hà Nội to celebrate International Mother Language Day.
Hosted by the Bangladeshi Embassy, the ceremony also celebrated the Language Martyrs day of Bangladesh.
“International Mother Language Day is dedicated to all the people of the world for their right to speak in their own mother tongue,” said Ambassador Samina Naz. “Today, the Bangla language has been spoken by more than 250 million people all over the world.”
“The Language Movement of 1952 was the first assertion of our right to seek official recognition for our linguistic and cultural identity in the post-colonial state that we became part of.”
“This has relevantly been marked as the first significant event towards the struggle for self-determination, freedom, justice and independence for the peace-loving people of Bangladesh.”
On February 21, 1952, a massive procession of students from Dhaka University and people from all walks of life was organised to protect the dignity of the mother tongue. The language martyrs, students of the University of Dhaka and many others laid down their lives to win Bangla recognition as a State language.
“Bangladesh is, perhaps, the only country in the world whose people fought for their mother tongue and sacrificed their lives to have it recognised as a State language,” said Naz.
Since then, people pay tribute to the Martyrs of the Language Movement on February 21.
The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. UNESCO declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day in 1999 in recognition of the Bangladesh language movement. Bangladesh takes pride in establishing this day as a source of inspiration for all the people of the world to protect their rights to their own language and culture.
“We share the view that there is a need to create a development paradigm that would integrate the principles of cultural diversity and pluralism, a paradigm that would recognise culture as a system of values and as part of the global and local commons. We must work together to promote culture as a bridge to sustainable social, economic and human development and as a pivot to social cohesion, mutual understanding and harmony,” said Naz. — VNS