If you talk to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart
- Nelson Mandela
Language is an essential aspect of our everyday lives; we tour the world through language. It facilitates communication, builds our collective interests and to date, remains the oldest known form of preserving our culture and tradition. It is what we stand for, it is our identity.
Today, we observe the International Mother Language Day, a day through which we promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity. This day represents the year 1952 where the students of Dhaka University in Pakistan were shot and killed by the police. Their only crime was in protesting for the recognition of their language Bengali, in modern day Bangladesh, which at the said time was part of and ruled by Pakistan. Since February 2000, the lives of these students have been commemorated in honor of their sacrifice while fighting to establish a rightful place for their language in society.
In honor of this day, we, at World Assembly of Youth (WAY), hope to bring more awareness to this issue and implore society to embrace mother languages worldwide. Youth today should work towards preserving this priceless gift from our ancestors, and promote respect for linguistic and cultural diversity.
We would like to reiterate our appreciation of the beauty and splendor of mother language, it is what makes us unique. It is a symbol of our cultural diversity, broadens youth capacity to imagine, explore and experience one another's cultures. We at WAY would like to wish all young people A HAPPY INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY.
Let us make this day, a day where the beauty of mother language blooms in all the hearts of young people.