Dying cultural expressions

Today is observed as International Mother Language Day to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity, and multilingualism in the world

sneh

Sneh Singh | February 21, 2017 | New Delhi


#international mother language day   #mother tongue   #language death  


Every year since 2000, February 21 is observed as International Mother Language Day by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). It is to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity, and multilingualism.

This day has seen a rare and historic language movement in 1952. That year, Bengalis in Bangladesh gave up their lives to fight for their right to speak their mother tongue Bangla. 

Irina Bokova, director-general, UNESCO has dedicated 2017 to multilingual education. She says, “On the occasion of this Day, I launch an appeal for the potential of multilingual education to be acknowledged everywhere, in education and administrative systems, in cultural expressions and the media, cyberspace and trade. The better we understand how to value languages, the more tools we will have to build a future of dignity for all.”    

In India, the language changes in every few kilometres making it one of the most diverse places in the world in terms of languages. A language is not just used as a mode for communication but is also a reservoir of culture. When the last fluent person of Aka-Bo language, Boa Sr, died in Andaman Island in 2010, it meant an extinction of language and culture. The ancient tribal language broke a 65,000-year link to one of the oldest cultures of the world.

The trend of language deaths around the world includes thousands of languages. According to experts, by the end of this century alone, about 7,000 languages will vanish at the rate of one language every two weeks. 

In India, a comprehensive study on Indian languages by Ganesh Devy: ‘People’s Lingusistic survey of India’ points out that there are 780 languages spoken in India. It also states that 220 Indian languages have become extinct in the past 50 years, and more than 150 languages are in the endangered list and are likely to disappear in the next 50 years.

Today, the future of languages in the world stands in ambiguity, with a rise of a number international languages like English on platforms like the internet. This has forced people to abandon their own mother tongue and has led to the disappearance of many mother tongues.

Comments

 

Other News

How inequality keeps rising amid pandemic – and is killing people

The world’s ten richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion (at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day) during the first two years of a pandemic while the incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty. A new

Vistadome coaches on Central Railways a hit with passengers

The Vistadome coaches on Central Railways have received an overwhelming response from passengers. Not only have they boosted tourism and registered an occupancy of 20,407 passengers but also clocked revenue of Rs.2.38 crore between October and December 2021.   The CSMT-Madgaon-CSMT Jansh

Omicron on relentless run: India records 2.68 lakh cases

India is once again caught in a spike of Covid-19 cases, with the highly transmittable omicron driving numbers. The total cases in the country continued to increase on Saturday, recording 2.68 lakh cases in 24 hours. India`s active caseload currently stands at 14,17,820 or 3.85%, while the r

Bill Gates, charity and the dilemma of already successful people

Mantra and the meaning of Success By Rajesh Talwar Bridging Borders, 288 pages Rajesh Talwar, who works as Deputy Legal Adviser to the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, has written 31 books, and on January 15 he is releasing one more. ‘

An inquisitive reader’s guide to Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas

Essence of the Fifth Veda By Gaurang Damani Divine Destination, 234 pages, Rs 350 ‘Veda’ literally means ‘knowledge’.

Humility: Going beyond binaries to deliver justice to tribals

Being Adivasi: Existence, Entitlements, Exclusion [Part of ‘Rethinking India’ series] Edited by Abhay Flavian Xaxa and G.N. Devy Penguin, xxvi+182 pages, Rs 699 ‘Being Adivasi: Existence, Entitlements, Exclusion’ (Penguin India), edited by

Visionary Talk: Farmer`s Agitation, Rakesh Tikait with Kailashnath Adhikari


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter