February 21 – International Mother Language Day
2014 Theme: Local languages for global citizenship: spotlight on science
International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages.
International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since 2000 February to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bengali, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka (near High Court), which is the capital of present day Bangladesh.
“Local languages constitute the majority of languages spoken across our world in the field of science. They are also the most endangered. Excluding languages means excluding those who speak them from their fundamental human right to scientific knowledge.” – Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Message for International Mother Language Day 2014.