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

Manmohan Singh favours ‘time-tested measures’ for economy

The much hyped ‘double engine’ model of governance on which the BJP is seeking votes has utterly failed, and Mumbai and Maharashtra have had to face some of the worst effects of economic slowdown, former prime minister Manmohan Singh has said. A lot of problems facing Maharashtra

“If the oppn is weak you can’t blame the govt for that”

A three-term Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut is the Shiv Sena spokesperson and its voice in parliament. He is also the executive editor of Marathi newspaper Samana, started by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Raut spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on his party’s seat-sharing agreement

Ashish Shelar of BJP says, “We are very confident of victory”

Ashish Shelar, 47, was the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP, before he became the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government this year. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with

Nobel for economics goes to `global fight against poverty`

The Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." The prize, known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”, was announc

Modi-Xi script a new chapter in bilateral relations

Prime minister Narendra Modi has accepted president Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China in 2020 for their third informal summit after Wuhan and Mamallapuram, indicating both sides’ realization of the importance of the mechanism which gives the two leaders of the Asian giants an opportunity t

Dharma as the original Idea of India

Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter