Tuesday, February 21, 2006

International Mother Language Day

Today is International Mother Language Day, observed by the member states of UNESCO to "promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism." The 1999 proclamation was a result of a proposal by Bangladesh to internationalize what is celebrated in that country as Language Martyrs' Day, commemorating a movement to preserve Bengali as a national language during a period of Pakistani rule.

I can only speak for myself, but the study of foreign languages has opened my mind and broadened my horizons more than anything else I've done in my life, including travel. I strongly believe that an appreciation of linguistic diversity is a key element to the achievement of world peace. On this day, let us remember that we are all more alike than we are different, and work to build bridges toward greater mutual understanding.


irina said...

Happy to have found another language lover... will be back!

Martha said...

What Irina said! Always great to meet a fellow verbivore!