International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism. First announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999, it was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in a resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages. The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh the 21 February is the anniversary of the day when Bangladeshis fought for recognition for the Bangla language.
International Mother Language day 2019 theme is: “Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation”.
This year, International Mother Language day 2019 will be framed by the International Year of indigenous languages 2019 (IYIL19) around the theme “Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation”.
International Mother Language Day is a national holiday in Bangladesh. The resolution was suggested by Rafiqul Islam, a Bengali living in Vancouver, Canada. He wrote a letter to Kofi Annan on 9 January 1998 asking him to take a step for saving the world’s languages from extinction by declaring an International Mother Language Day. Rafiq proposed the date as 21 February to commemorate the 1952 killings in Dhaka during the Language Movement.“21st February – The International Mother Language Day”.