THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Thunder Bay will join the world on February 21, 2020, in celebrating International Mother Language Day.
NetNewsLedger sat down with Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal to share what efforts are behind the project.
Thunder Bay City Council has been asked to proclaim February 21, 2020 as International Mother Language Day.
The Background on International Mother Language Day
The United Nations says, “Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education, and development, are of strategic importance for people and the planet. Yet, due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat of disappearing altogether. When languages fade, so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression — valuable resources for ensuring a better future — are also lost.
6000 Languages Spoken Around the World
“At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world. International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
“Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance, and dialogue.
Every Two Weeks a Language Disappears
“Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Globally 40 percent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with a growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life. Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.”