February 21 is International Mother Language Day declared by UNESCO in 1999 to celebrated linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Events, workshops, and campaigns are carried out on this date, to promote awareness of Mother Language importance .
UNESCO: “UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others. Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear.
Globally 40 percent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life. Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.”
Local, cross-border languages can promote peaceful dialogue and help to preserve indigenous heritage. Speakers of Kiswahili across sub-Saharan Africa and Quechua in South America, for example, share a common culture with communities in neighboring countries.
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