In 1999, UNESCO decreed 21
February as the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) with a view to promoting
the preservation and protection of the mother tongue of each nation. Language being the vehicle for the transmission
of culture, this celebration is meant to uphold linguistic and cultural
diversity, to bring greater awareness of the importance of languages in our
The day reminds us of the day
in 1952, when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla,
as one of the two national languages of the then East Pakistan, were shot and
killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.
To mark the International
Mother Language Day, this Ministry hosted an Exhibition cum Sale of books and
CDs in different languages with the participation of speaking unions and
institutions operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Culture on
Friday 21 February 2014 from 10 00 hrs to 15 00 hrs at the Mauritius Museums
Council, La Chaussée, Port Louis. The
Mauritian Sign Language Committee under the aegis of the Ministry of Social
Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions also participated in the
event and presented the National Anthem in sign language.
In this context, a cultural
programme comprising sketches, SLAMs and poetry recitals was held from 11 45hrs
to 12 45 hrs.
The objective was to
encourage intercultural dialogue and to enable the public to take stock of the
numerous publications in different languages available in