International Mother Language Day: History, Significance, Facts, Theme & Everything Else You Need To Know

Given below are all the details about International Mother Language Day's history, significance, facts & more. Details about International Mother Language Day 2022's theme are also mentioned.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Feb 21, 2022 11:37 IST
International Mother Language Day: History, Significance, Facts, Theme & Everything Else You Need To Know
International Mother Language Day History

Every year on February 21st, International Mother Language Day is observed. The day is observed to encourage linguistic and cultural variety, as well as multilingualism, all over the world. Language is more than just a method of communication; it also symbolises a rich cultural and intellectual history. International Mother Language Day history, significance, theme, facts & more details have been given below. 

International Mother Language Day 2022: Theme

"Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and Opportunities" is theme 2022. The emphasis is on the potential role of technology in advancing multilingual education and promoting quality teaching and learning for all. 

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International Mother Language Day 2022: History & Significance 

According to the United Nations, we are losing a language every two weeks, and at least 43 percent of the world's estimated 6000 languages are endangered. The day's origins can be traced back to February 21, 1952, when Pakistani forces opened fire on Bangla-speaking people, resulting in many deaths and, eventually, the establishment of Bangladesh.

Later that year, Rafiqul Islam and Abdus Salam, two non-resident Bangladeshis from Canada, wrote to Kofi Annan, then-secretary-general of the United Nations. They asked the UN to take action to conserve the world's endangered languages by designating an International Mother Language Day on February 21. UNESCO adopted the proposal in 1999. As a result, the day is observed as a national holiday in Bangladesh.

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International Mother Language Day 2022: Interesting Facts

India has 121 different languages. The first 22 are included in Part A of the Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution, while the remaining 99 are listed in Part B. In addition, there are 270 mother tongues in India. According to the 2011 census, the most common language in India is Hindi, which is spoken by more than Half a Billion people, whereas Sanskrit is spoken by only 24,821 people. English is classified as a non-scheduled language, meaning it is not listed in the eighth schedule.

Some mother tongues are spoken by millions of people but do not have the status of languages, such as Bhojpuri (5 cr), Rajasthani (2.5 cr), Chhattisgarhi (1.6 cr), and Magahi or Magadhi (1.27 cr). 

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