Thunder Bay, ON – The Thunder Bay Public Library, working in partnership with the local Bangladeshi community, is organizing a celebration of International Mother Language Day, which has been recognized in Canada since 2014.
The event will be held at the Waverley Library on Friday, February 21 from 10 am – 1 pm and there will be a film screening in the afternoon. There will also be maps in all libraries which community members can use to indicate where their mother language originated from.
Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal will give a short introduction to the day and there will be singing by some members of the Bengali community. The event will feature an open microphone where community members from diverse cultures can share some words from their language and talk about an artifact or object from their culture.
International Mother Language Day commemorates the Bengali people who sacrificed their life to protect their language and culture. Police killed student demonstrators in 1952 in Dhaka during the Language Movement. The language of Bangla was officially accepted on that day as well as a national language.
International Mother Language Day was introduced to the Parliament of Canada for recognition by Matthew Kellway on February 5, 2014, as Private Member’s Bill C-573.
Thunder Bay Public Library is excited and honoured to host the City’s first ever celebration of International Mother Language Day, which is observed around the world on February 21st to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity as well as multilingualism.
We want to let people know that Thunder Bay is a welcoming community for everyone, regardless of what language they speak or what culture they celebrate.