International Mother Language Day 2024

International Mother Language Day is observed every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.


International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution of 2002.

2024 Theme

The theme for this year is “Multilingual education – a pillar of learning and intergenerational learning”, which highlights that Multilingual education policies are crucial for inclusive education and the preservation of indigenous languages.
By starting education in the learner’s mother tongue and gradually introducing other languages, barriers between home and school are bridged, facilitating effective learning.

Safeguarding Linguistic Diversity

Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and planet. Yet, due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat, or disappearing gradually.
When languages fade, so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity.

Endangered Languages

Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. At least 45% of the estimated 7000 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, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.
Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages, which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.

International Mother Language Day Exhibition

An exhibition in New Delhi is being organised to showcase the Global Symphony of Languages. The Exhibition organized under the aegis of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is based on the theme of “Akshar, Shabd and Bhasha.”
It is a celebration of the linguistic diversity of India, and exploring the richness of languages, scripts, and words that define Indian cultural heritage. Aimed at bringing forth the importance of mother languages and the need to preserve endangered languages, the exhibition features 22 quotes in the 22 scheduled languages of India.


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