Activities planned to mark International Mother Language Day 2021

ISLAMABAD:A number of activities have been planned to mark International Mother Language Day 2021 on February 21 (Sunday) in Pakistan, like across the globe, for promoting multilingualism among the children from the initial stages of learning.

The day will be marked under the theme “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society” which recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind.

Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) in collaboration with Indus Cultural Forum (ICF) will hold 6th edition of Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival on Sunday to highlight the potential of Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity.

The event, to be attended by various writers, intellectuals, artists and activists of almost 20 Pakistani languages, is being arranged to pay tribute to living legends who have dedicated their lives for the promotion and protection of Pakistan’s mother languages.

This festival offers a platform for celebrating all 70 plus languages of Pakistan and encourages language communities to take action for saving these languages from extinction.

According to an official, ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) will be sharing scientific response to COVID 19 in mother languages in Pakistan in terms of literature produced over the last one year since the pandemic began.

The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) has planned to celebrate the 6th Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival on Sunday to highlight the value of languages in Pakistan.

Language experts will participate in the event as speakers and moderators to promote Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity by fostering critical thinking and learning through effective use of creative expression in mother languages.

The festival would include Mother languages Mushaira, Mother Languages Music Evening, Discussions on Languages, Literature and Culture, Book launches, audio-visual screening, cultural performances, mother languages book stalls, food courts, cultural exhibitions and mobile library.

The participants and youngsters will experience colors of literature, culture, art, music and much more from around 20 Pakistani languages while other attractions will include painting and antiques exhibitions, children’s science fun activities and book stalls.

Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) will also hold 6th edition of Pakistan Mother Language Literature Festival on Sunday to promote Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity as an instrument of social harmony and peace. PAL in collaboration with Punjabi Adabi Parchar will hold special literary programmes including poetic symposium, Folk colors, Kahani Darbar, Gal Bat and Mukabla Dhola.

Well known writers, scholars and intellectual including Farhad Iqbal, Tariq Bhatti, Raye Altaf Hussain, Dr. Waheed Ahmed, Jaffar Anjum, Zeghum Abbas and Muhammad Imran will participate in the festival.

The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and being observed throughout the world since 2000.

UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.

Linguistic Diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand.

Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.

Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.