UNESCO celebrates International Mother Language Day 2021 in Nepal
Evidence tells us that learning first in one’s mother tongue leads to better outcomes in the future – for individuals, cultures, and nations.
UNESCO emphasises the use of the mother tongue in early childhood education and development. However, linguistic diversity in the world is increasingly threatened as more and more languages are disappearing. It is also a fact that globally, 40% of the world’s population has no access to education in their mother tongue.
On International Mother Language Day 2021, UNESCO collaborated with the Nepal Academy and the Language Commission to organize two events on the importance of linguistic diversity.
On 21 February, a poetry recitation programme was held, where 70 poets from around the country recited poems in their mother tongue. People representing sixteen indigenous groups displayed their culture and sang in a rally. The event was inaugurated by the Right Honorable Vice President of Nepal, Nanda Kishor Pun.
The second event, on 22 February, was a seminar organized on the subject of fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society. The seminar was attended by the Honorable Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Chair of the Language Commission, the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal, the UNESCO Representative to Nepal, the Chancellor of Nepal Academy and many other mother-tongue speakers and academicians. Papers on the importance of the mother tongue and indigenous languages, as well as their preservation and promotion, were presented in the seminar.
During the event, the Honorable Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, highlighted the mother language as an important national heritage.