International Mother Language Day helps promote cultural diversity

The celebration of the International Mother Language Day is an apt occasion to remind all that mother language is a bearer of respective cultural heritage, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dr.A.K Abdul Momen said.

Speaking at the International Mother Language Day 2021 held virtually on Thursday. Abdul Momen said this also include the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.

“A cross border multilingual programme on this auspicious occasion of International Mother Language Day 2021 will work as a bridge of language and cultural connectivity among the South and South East Asian countries,” he said.

The two-day long cross-border multicultural programme was jointly organised by the Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia, Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, University of Dhaka’s Centre for Genocide Studies, and Taylor’s University School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Malaysia.

According to a statement from the Bangladesh High Commission, commemoration of the International Mother Language Day was also significant as contemporary globalisation had posed challenge for linguistic diversity.

But in some ways, it had made the intergenerational retention of diverse languages more feasible – through linguistic and cultural connectivity.

“We need cross-border advocacy for multilingualism which aims to be nationally cohesive, economically productive and socially just,” the statement said.

It added that in her opening speech, Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri had emphasised on the importance of the protection and preservation of languages as it translates to the protection and preservation of culture and heritage.

She also applauded the efforts of Bangladesh in making the International Mother Language Day a worldwide celebration highlighting its importance to the world.

Themed Understanding Asian Transformations: Language and Cultural Binds – Fostering Multilingualism for inclusion in Education and Society’, the first day event started with ministerial-level statements, followed by a panel discussion.

The second day of the event will be filled with multicultural performance.

The statement said that besides live performances from Bangladesh and Malaysia, countries like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives will participate in the cultural event by recorded video, being represented by the respective diplomatic Missions in Kuala Lumpur.