Different indigenous languages showcased in an exhibition at the National Indigenous Languages Institute – Photo: EFE

International Mother Language Day!

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A reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for a country's sustainable development

In 1999, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed February 21 to be the International Mother Language Day as a reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for a country's sustainable development.

This worldwide annual observance also alludes to the Bengali Language Movement commemorated since 1952 following the struggle in which the police and the army of the Pakistani State opened fire against a multitude of speakers of the Bengali language who held a demonstration arguing for their linguistic rights in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

UNESCO has been commemorating the date for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education.

Mexico's Government joined the observance an issued a statement acknowledging the importance of the International Mother Language Day and their principles in the country.

On Twitter, Mexico's Government wrote in Spanish "Multilingual Mexico joins the celebration of the International Mother Language Day"

“The second article of Mexico's Constitution recognizes the nation's multicultural composition originated in its indigenous people thus guaranteeing their right to autonomy to preserve and enrich their languages, knowledge and all the elements that compose it, their cultures and identities,” the statement reads in Spanish.

Moreover, Mexico created the National Indigenous Languages Institute (INALI) to articulate public policies on indigenous languages seeking to strengthen, preserve, and develop indigenous languages throughout the country.

UNESCO's statement on International Mother Language Day 2018

Mexico's statement in Spanish on Internacional Mother Language Day 2018

Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal