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

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude

Trafficking survivors’ votes don’t count

While the entire nation is agog with political grapevine, political parties are weighing on all options to lure voters by touching upon issues that impact their lives. Several parties, including the BJP and the Congress have released their manifestos while many are about to join the bandwagon. The

“I have a bigger reason and motivation to join politics”

Urmila Matondkar joined the Congress party and within just two months into politics, the actor is already surrounded by controversies – from being accused of making anti-Hindu comments to inappropriate poll campaigning. Fielded against BJP’s Gopal Shetty in the Mumbai North constituency, Ma

Campaign trail with BJP’s Manoj Kotak

Dressed in white shirt and pants, three time Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) corporator Manoj Kotak is now contesting from Mumbai north-east constituency. Kotak, representing BJP in the BMC, is ready to rally around Ward 125 in Ghatkopar east area. It’s about 7:30 pm on a hot April e

Modi is now the topic of a PhD thesis

Sunil Bhatt, a Gujarat-based professional, has completed what is possibly the first PhD thesis on prime minister Narendra Modi. The thesis, titled ‘Leadership, Governance and Development: A case study of Shri Narendra Modi’, has been accepted at the Veer Narmad South Gujarat Universit



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter