On International Mother Language Day 2018, celebrated every year on 21 February, UNESCO reiterates its commitment to linguistic diversity and invites its Member States to celebrate the day in as many languages as possible as a reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development. This year, UNESCO commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its bold statement that no discrimination can be made on the basis of language, and celebrates its translation into more than 500 languages. The theme of 2018’s International Mother Language Day is linguistic diversity and multilingualism for sustainable development.
Suggestions issued by UNESCO TO Celebrate International Mother Language:-
1. School teachers should encourage children to use their mother languages to introduce themselves and talk about their families and culture.
2. They should let the students read poetry, tell a story or sing a song in their mother tongues.
3. Paintings and drawings with captions in mother languages can also be displayed.
4. The UN agency advises students to help organise cultural activities such as films, plays and music that celebrate different languages.
5. For students, it suggests – observe how many mother languages your fellow classmates can speak. Make a survey of the languages by interviewing them.
It requires the mastery over mother tongue to foster sustainable development. Local languages transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge, thus play vital role in promoting sustainable futures. The International Mother Language Day also supports target 6 of Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that states Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.