Thursday January 24, 2019

Commemorating the International Mother Language Day- February 21

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By Varnika Mahajan

“Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education, but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.” –UN

Promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism is the core motive which calls for celebrating the International Mother Language Day.

The theme of the 2016 International Mother Language Day is “Quality education, language(s) of instruction, and learning outcomes.”

‘Mother languages in a multilingual approach are essential components of quality education, which is itself the foundation for empowering women and men and their societies. We must recognise and nurture this power, in order to leave no one behind, to craft a more just and sustainable future for all.’- This is UNESCO’s message on this day.

HISTORY

Proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999, the International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000.

The date represents the day in 1952 when students in the then Pakistan demanded recognition of their language ‘Bangla’, as one of the two national languages. The students were gunned down by the police in Dhaka, the capital of today’s Bangladesh.

While the day is celebrated all over the world, Bangladesh declared it a public holiday commemorating this unfortunate incident where it is also known as Shohid Dibôsh or Shaheed Day.

ACTIVITIES ON THIS DAY

The International Mother Language Day witnesses robust efforts by UNESCO and other UN agencies in promoting cultural and linguistic diversity over the world. Apart from providing awareness among people about their language and culture in other countries, these agencies encourage peoples’ morale and appreciate those who acknowledge their mother language.

People visit the Shaheed Minar in Bangladesh on this day, in order to pay homage to the students martyred on February 21. People with their outstanding performance towards language and cultural diversity are lauded. Flowers are sprinkled and it is time for the cultural celebration of their Bengali national language.

The Linguapax Institute, in Barcelona, Spain presents the Linguapax Prize on International Mother Language Day each year for those who have made outstanding work in linguistic diversity or multilingual education.

SYMBOLS

The Shaheed Minar in Dhaka
The Shaheed Minar in Dhaka (Image source: espncricinfo.com)

The Shaheed Minar in Dhaka pays respect to the four students who were shot down while demanding a national identity of their mother language.

An International Mother Language Day monument was constructed at Ashfield Park in Sydney, Australia. Images of Shaheed Minar and the globe on the face of the stone can be seen with the words “we will remember the martyr of 21st February” engraved in both Bengali and English languages.

IN CONCLUSION

We, at NewsGram, appreciate linguistic diversity and promote multilingual education. Apart from operating an online portal in the English language, a full-fledged Hindi language portal ‘newsgram.in’ is operated simultaneously, in order to create news pertaining to lingual awareness about our national language. (Image source: youtube.com)

  • Bill Chapman

    I hope that Esperanto will not be forgotten today.

    Not many people know that the planned international language Esperanto has native speakers too. See:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzDS2WyemBI

    It was never planned that way, but it happened, and I have met about a dozen native speakers over the years. If it is possible for the speakers of a language launched into life in 1887 to transmit it to future generations, then surely the same should be true for more ancient community languages.

Next Story

Facebook To Soon Come Up With Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

institute will help advance the growing field of ethical research on new technology and will explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI.

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institute will help advance the growing field of ethical research on new technology and will explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI. VOA

Facebook on Sunday said it will create an independent Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI) with an initial grant of $7.5 million.

In collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany, the institute will help advance the growing field of ethical research on new technology and will explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI.

The enterprise solutions major has integrated SAP CoPilot with the "SAP S/4HANA" Cloud.

“A tectonic shift is happening in AI. Nearly 85 per cent of enterprises globally will use AI in some form or the other by 2020. INT

“The institute will conduct independent, evidence-based research to provide insight and guidance for society, industry, legislators and decision-makers across the private and public sectors,” said Joaquin Quinonero Candela, Director, Applied Machine Learning, at Facebook.

The institute will address issues that affect the use and impact of AI, such as safety, privacy, fairness and transparency.

Also Read: Facebook Redesigns Messenger App For Android, iOS Users

“At the TUM Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, we will explore the ethical issues of AI and develop ethical guidelines for the responsible use of the technology in society and the economy,” said Professor Dr Christoph Lutge.

The institute will also benefit from Germany’s position at the forefront of the conversation surrounding ethical frameworks for AI “including the creation of government-led ethical guidelines on autonomous driving” and its work with European institutions on these issues. (IANS)