International Mother Language Day Observance at AAU

Addis Ababa University, UNESCO and Embassy of Bangladesh to Ethiopia jointly observed International Mother Languages Day (IMLD) at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) hall on Friday, 21 February 2020.

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is a worldwide annual observance held every year on 21 February in the UNESCO member states and its headquarters to create awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

Professor Tasew Weldehanna, President of Addis Ababa University on his welcoming address said that Mother Language is a manifestation of the humanity expressed in meaningful and understandable word of combinations. “I presume Mother Language is an extraordinary gift of the creator,”he added.

According to Professor Tasew, the presence of over four thousands of Mother Languages across the globe today show a network of colorful language fibers that keep all human beings connected.

His Excellency, Mr. Monirul Islam, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Ethiopia in his part said that International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is celebrated to help children of the world not to forget their mother tongues.

The Ambassador emphasized his point as, “We need to respect our mother tongue. These days, due to a huge influence of globalization, we only focus on the world’s leading languages. Hence, we observe IMLD to show our respect and the significance of our mother tongues.”

“We want to show the diversity of the world, if a garden is full of only one type of white flowers, we really become fade up seeing it,” Ambassador Monirul Islam Further remarked.

The base for the celebration of IMLD every year is the death of four Bangladesh university students on February 21, 1952 during a protest for the right to use their mother language as a national language. This day got credit and proclaimed as an International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999.

Distinguished ambassadors, AAU officials, instructors, professors and other guests of honour attended the IMLD observation held at Ethiopian Studies, AAU.

Theodros Shewangizaw February 25, 2020

Photograph by Fikremariam Beyene