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International Mother Language Day!
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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.
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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, the capital of what is now 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).On 16 May 2009 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world". By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

  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.
  —from the United Nations International Mother Language Day microsite
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Timeline
  •   2000, Inaugural celebration of International Mother Language Day
  •   2001, Second annual celebration
  •   2002, Linguistic Diversity: 3,000 Languages in Danger (slogan: In the galaxy of languages, every word is a star)
  •   2003, Fourth annual celebration
  •   2004, Children learning (the observance at UNESCO included "a unique exhibition of children’s exercise books from around the world illustrating the process by which children learn and master the use of written literacy skills in the classroom")
  •   2005, Braille and Sign languages
  •   2006, Languages and Cyberspace
  •   2007, Multilingual education
  •   2009, tenth annual celebration
  •   2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures
  •   2011, The information and communication technologies
  •   2012, Mother tongue instruction and inclusive education
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International observances
  • The Linguapax Prize is presented annually on International Mother Language Day.
  • UNESCO sets the theme for each International Mother Language Day and holds related events at its headquarters in Paris on or around 21 February each year.
  • In 2008, the International Year of Languages was formally launched on International Mother Language Day.
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You may also want to research:
  •   Language Movement Day
  •   Language festival
  •   Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights
  •   Official languages of the United Nations

References
  • U.N. General Assembly, Sixty-first Session, Agenda item 114, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 61/266. Multilingualism (A/RES/61/266)  

External links
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Resources:
  • Top photo: International Mother Language Day Monument, Ashfield Park, Sydney, Australia. Unveiling ceremony, 19-Feb-2006. File from wikipedia commons
  • This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia / article / and other related pages. 
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Categories for this subject:
  •   United Nations days
  •   Languages
  •   United Nations observances

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