International mother language day observed all over the world. It is the day when we give respect, love and promote our mother language. It is celebrated on 21 February every year in every region and every corner of the world.
It was founded by the movement for language in Bangladesh on February 21, 1952. At first, it was celebrated locally. Later the day was recognized and announced as international mother language day by UNESCO on November 17, 1999. It gives the opportunity to recognize the importance of the mother language to everyone, especially new generations.
History of Mother language day
The history of mother language day is related to the language movement of 21 February 1952 held in East Pakistan(presently Bangladesh). At that time, West Pakistan (presently Pakistan) government forcibly tried to make Urdu as the one and only official language though the language of more than half of the people of Pakistan was Bengal.
As a result, On February 21st, Bengali peoples made movement and processions for making the Bengali language as national language beside Urdu. But the Pakistani police force open fired on the protesters by the order of Pakistan government and caused a lot of deaths of innocent civilians and students. No nation has ever sacrificed their lives for the recognition of mother language except Bengalis.
Since then the day is celebrated in Bangladesh known as ‘Ekushe February’. It is also known as the first spark of Bangladesh’s independent movement. Which later led and encouraged the independence of Bangladesh.
The sacrifice for mother language highly praised and honored by many countries worldwide. The United Nation’s UNESCO then announced the day as the ‘International mother language day’ in 1999. From then the day has been observed every year on February 21.
It enlightens our mother tongue, what we learned from our first day of life. Sometimes a language reflects culture and traditions in the region. According to UNESCO, every two weeks, a language disappears from the earth. The international mother language day gives honor to every single language of the world.
How we celebrate on Ekushe February
The idea of celebrating international mother language day was the initiative of Bangladesh. So in Bangladesh, people observe international mother language day very deeply and honorably.
In the very morning on February 21, peoples from all ages and classes especially students went to ‘Shaheed Minar’ which means martyr monument singing ‘Amar ViyerRokteRagano'(a song dedicating the sacrifice of martyrs of 21 February). They go to the monument barefooted and give flowers to the monument for showing respect for the sacrifice of their lives.
We celebrate national, cultural and other activities each year on the day to mark the day with honor and memories. Education institutions like schools, colleges, and other institutions and offices organize various traditional and cultural events like patriotic songs and poems, etc all day long on 21 February. This encourages the new generation to love and uprise their country.
International mother language day is important for not only Bangladesh but also every single nation. It teaches us to love and respect our language at any cost.