International Mother Language Day is celebrated every year on February 21st. It is a day to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The day was first proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999 to commemorate the Language Movement Day in Bangladesh, which occurred on February 21, 1952. The Language Movement was a movement to establish the recognition of the Bengali language in the then-East Pakistan, which later became independent Bangladesh. The day is observed around the world to promote the preservation and protection of all languages, especially minority and indigenous languages, as well as to promote the use of mother tongues in education and public life.
In Nepal :
In Nepal, International Mother Language Day holds special significance because of the country’s linguistic diversity. Nepal is home to more than 123 languages and dialects, and the Nepali language is the country’s official language.
On this day, various programs and events are organized by the government, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions to promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism in the country. The day is also observed to raise awareness about the importance of preserving and promoting indigenous and minority languages in Nepal.
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to protect and promote Nepal’s indigenous languages, which are under threat due to the dominance of the Nepali language and the influence of global languages like English. As a result, efforts are being made to develop and implement policies that promote the use of indigenous languages in education and public life, and to support language revitalization programs to preserve and promote these languages.