2019 International Mother Language Day (IMLD)

The International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed every year on 21st of February to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Since 2019 is also the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL19), the theme of this year’s IMLD is “Indigenous Languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation”. At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain. According to UN data, a language disappears every two weeks taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. UNESCO has been celebrating IMLD for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving this linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education. Progress is being made in this direction with a growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling.

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