The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced the International Day of Mother Tongue in November 1999. However, it was formally recognized in 2002 by the UN General Assembly.
The aim behind the day is to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by the people of the world. In the era of Globalization and Digitalization, several local languages are on the verge of extinction. The United Nations recognized this issue and started the day to encourage people to give due regard and importance to their mother tongue.
Every language is a heritage which needs to be preserved in order to ensure cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Bangladesh was the first country which initiated the idea of celebrating an International Mother Language Day.
International Mother Language Day 2021 Theme
This year, the day is a call to all teachers, learned individuals and policy makers to give due importance to multilingual education. Especially after Covid 19, students across the world have lost critical time and to advance the education recovery, the learned and fortunate need to step up.
According to the United Nations, "Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered." In order to address this problem, International Mother Language is observed globally.