International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day (IMLD)

Basic Information about IMLD

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed on every year February 21 with an aim to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world.


Post Last Updated: Feb 11, 2019 @ 9:59 am

Observed on: February 21

Organized by: UNESCO

Introduced in: 2009 (UN Resolution)

Observed: Worldwide


About International Mother Language Day

Every year February 21 is celebrated as International Mother Language Day to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world. This observance also promotes awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The date corresponds to the day in 1952 when students from the University of Dhaka, Jagannath University and Dhaka Medical College, demonstrating for the recognition of Bengali as one of the two national languages of East Pakistan, were brutally shot dead by police near the Dhaka High Court.

International Mother language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30 C/62). On 16 May 2009 the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/61/266, called on its member states “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world”.


Actions and Programs on International Mother Language Day

UNESCO conduct and sponsors related events on this day with a theme for the observation of IMLD. The day is celebrated with various awards, discussions, seminars, social gatherings, literacy competitions, etc. Programs and activities are organized by governments and non-governmental organizations to encourage language learning and support. The programs are also encourage people to maintain their knowledge of their mother language while learning and using more than one language.


Theme for International Mother Language Day (IMLD)

2019 Theme: Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation [International Year of indigenous languages 2019 (IYL19)]

2018 Theme: Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development.

2017 Theme: Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education

2016 Theme: Quality Education, Language(s) of Instruction and Learning Outcomes


Click here for List of Important Days or UN Observations

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