Monday, February 21, 2011

Shaheed Mminar

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shaheed Minar, or the Martyr's monument, located at Dhaka University Campus, Bangladesh, commemorates the sacrifice for Bangla Language on 21 February 1952
21 February was proclaimed the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages.[1]
International Mother Language Day originated as the international recognition of Language Movement Day, which has been commemorated in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 1952, when a number of Dhaka university students were killed by the Pakistani police and army in Dhaka during the Bengali Language Movement.
International Mother Language Day is observed yearly by UNESCO member states and at its headquarters to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.


On 21 March 1948, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Governor general of Pakistan, declared that Urdu would be the only official language for both West and East Pakistan. The people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), whose main language is Bengali, started to protest against this. On 21 February 1952, (8 Falgun 1359 in the Bengali calendar), students in the present day capital city of Dhaka called for a provincial strike. The government invoked a limited curfew to prevent this and the protests were tamed down so as to not break the curfew. The Pakistani police fired on the students despite these peaceful protests and a number of students were killed .

Annual themes

The observances of International Year of Languages tend to have a theme, indicated either in the formal program set for observance at UNESCO headquarters, or more explicitly in the publicity.
  • 2000, Inaugural celebration of International Mother Language Day
  • 2001, Second annual celebration
  • 2002, Linguistic Diversity: 3,000 Languages in Danger (slogan: In the galaxy of languages, every word is a star)
  • 2003, Fourth annual celebration
  • 2004, Children's learning (the observance at UNESCO included "a unique exhibition of children’s exercise books from around the world illustrating the process by which children learn and master the use of written literacy skills in the classroom
  • 2005, Braille and Sign languages
  • 2006, Languages and Cyberspace
  • 2007, Multilingual education
  • 2008, International Year of Languages
  • 2009,
  • 2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures

International observances

International Mother Language Day Monument, Ashfield Park, Sydney, Australia. Unveiling ceremony, 19-Feb-2006
  • The Linguapax Prize is presented annually on International Mother Language Day.
  • UNESCO sets the theme for each International Mother Language Day and holds related events at its headquarters in Paris on or around 21 February each year.
  • In 2008, the International Year of Languages was formally launched on International Mother Language Day.


  1. ^ U.N. General Assembly, Sixty-first Session, Agenda item 114, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 61/266. Multilingualism (A/RES/61/266)
  2. ^ Banglapedia February 2006
  3. ^ UNESCO, "21 February - International Mother Language Day"
  4. ^ UNESCO, "International Mother Language Day 2004"

See also

  • Bengali language
  • First language
  • Bengali Language Movement
  • Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights

External links