UNESCO celebrates International Mother Language Day

The United Nations’ (UN) International Mother Language Day annually celebrates language diversity and variety worldwide on February 21. It remembers events such as the killing of four students on February 21, 1952, for campaigning to officially use their mother language, Bengali, in Bangladesh.

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62).The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution A/RES/56/262 of 2002.

This year, UNESCO’s celebration is under the theme “Languages without borders”. The event aims to contribute to the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all languages, to ensure users access to information and knowledge in their own languages. It aims also to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism with concrete measures for the promotion of linguistic diversity, truly multilingual internet and language technologies, with special focus on Indigenous languages.