International Mother Language Day, February 21, was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999 as an international observance of the Multilinguality and cultural diversity in our society.
The day commemorates the event that occurred in Dhaka (capital of present-day Bangaladesh) on that date in 1952, when several university students were shot to death by police while protesting for the recognition of their native language, Bengali, as one of the two national languages of East Pakistan.
Beside the commemoration of the event, the day is observed in order to promote the respect for other peoples' cultures and languages, the importance of tolerance toward people with different customs and lack of mastery in the local language, and the preservation of languages in danger of extinction.
|If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.- Nelson Mandela|