21st February International Mother Language Day

21st February: International Mother Language Day

Last Updated: 21st February, 2023

On 21st February, International Mother Language Day, The United Nations’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN offices take part in occasions that advance semantic, linguistic and social assorted diversities.

They likewise urge individuals to keep up their insight into their mother language while learning and utilizing more than one language. Governments and non-legislative associations may utilize the day to declare policies to empower language learning and support.


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In Bangladesh, 21st February is the commemoration of a vital day in the nation’s history. Individuals laid flowers at a Shaheed Minar (martyr’s memorial). It is a moment to observe the Bangladesh’s culture and the Bengali language.

The Linguapax Institute, in Barcelona, Spain, sights to protect and promote etymological diversity globally. The foundation entrusts the Linguapax Prize on International Mother Language Day every year.

21 February 1952 language movement


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The prize is for the individuals who have made extraordinary work and contribution in linguistic diversity or multilingual education.

21st February: Public Life

Worldwide Mother Language Day is a general holiday in Bangladesh, where it is otherwise called Shohid Dibôsh or Shaheed Day. It is a worldwide recognition yet not a general holiday in different parts of the world.

21st February: History and Facts

At the time of partition of India in 1947 by the British, the Bengal area was too partitioned by the prevalent religions of the occupants.

The western part turned out to be a part of India (West Bengal) and the eastern part turned into a territory of Pakistan known as East Bengal and later East Pakistan. Be that as it may, there was economic, social, cultural and lingual differences between East and West Pakistan.


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21 February 1952 just before breaking Curfew


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These restlessness were obvious in 1948 when Pakistan’s administration proclaimed that Urdu was the sole national language. This started dissents among the Bengali-speaking mass in East Pakistan. The administration banned the challenges yet on 21st February, 1952, students at the University of Dhaka and different activists sorted out a dissent.

Soon thereafter, the police started shooting at the demonstrators and slaughtered four students. These students demises in battling for the right to use their mother language are currently recalled on International Mother Language Day.

Amtala ekushey February


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The distress, restlessness and turmoils proceeded as Bengali speakers crusaded for the right to use their mother language. Bengali turned into an official language in Pakistan on 29th February, 1956. Following the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, Bangladesh turned into a free nation with Bengali as its official language.

On 17th November, 1999, UNESCO signified 21st February to be International Mother Language Day and it was first noted on 21st February, 2000. Every year the festivals around International Mother Language Day focus on a specific message.


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21st February: Symbols

The Shaheed Minar (martyr’s memorial) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, pays reverence to the four demonstrators slaughtered in 1952. There have been three variations of the landmark. The primary variant was based on February 22-23 of every 1952 except the police and armed force pulverized it in a couple of days.

21st February Shaheed Minar (martyr's memorial)


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Establishment on the second variant began in November 1957, yet the presence of military law halted development work and it was ruined at the time of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

The third variant of the Shaheed Minar was constructed to almost identical plans as the second variant. It comprises of four standing marble frames and a bigger twofold marble frame with an inclined top bit. The forms are shaped from marble and stand on a stage, which is raised around four meters (14 feet) over the ground.

The four edges speak to the four men who were slaughtered on 21st February, 1952, and the twofold edge speaks to their mothers and nation. Replications of the Shaheed Minar have been created worldwide where individuals from Bangladesh have settled, especially in London and Oldham in the United Kingdom.

2015 Mother Tongue Day in Islamabad, with demonstrators demanding that Punjabi (the mother tongue of most Pakistanis) be made an official language of Pakistan


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2015 Mother Language Day in Islamabad, with demonstrators demanding that Punjabi (the mother Language of most Pakistanis) be made an official language of Pakistan.

An International Mother Language Day memorial was raised at Ashfield Park in Sydney, Australia, on 19th February, 2006. It comprises of a section of slate mounted vertically on a raised stage. There are adapted pictures of the Shaheed Minar and the globe on the front of the stone.

There are additionally the words “we will remember the martyrs of 21st February” in English and Bengali and words with five letters in order to speak to mother languages on five continents where individuals live.

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