21 February: International Mother Language Day
The International Mother Language Day 2018 was observed across the world on February 21, 2018 with an aim to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing the tangible and intangible heritage.
The Day promotes the dissemination of mother tongues to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education with an aim to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world.
Theme of International Mother Language Day 2018
The theme of 2018 International Mother Language Day is 'Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development'.
It requires the mastery over mother tongue to foster sustainable development. Local languages transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge, thus play vital role in promoting sustainable futures.
The International Mother Language Day also supports target 6 of Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that states - 'Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.'
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When was the Day proclaimed?
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 and has been observed every year since February 2000.
The day, February 21, represents the date in 1952 when in an incident, Bangladesh students, demonstrating for recognition of their language Bangla as one of the national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police.
What: Observed globally
When: 21 February 2018