International Mother Language Day is observed on the 21st of February every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Since 2019 is also the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme of this year’s Mother Language Day is Indigenous Languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation.
At least 43 per cent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. According to UN data, a language disappears every two weeks taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today urged the people of the country to speak in their mother languages in order to enrich different languages.
He said only the mother tongue allows people to truly express their feelings. UNESCO has been celebrating International Mother Language Day for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving this linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education. Progress is being made in this direction with a growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling.