/ 4 March 2024

International Mother Language Day celebrated

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Shri Prabhat Kumar, High Commissioner of India, addresses the gathering on International Mother Language Day.

The day has been observed internationally since 2002

International Mother Language Day was hosted on 24 February 2024 at the High Commission of India in Pretoria. Shri Prabhat Kumar, High Commissioner of India, welcomed members of the Diplomatic Corp and guests. 

International Mother Language Day was designated by the United Nations as 21 February. It has been observed and celebrated since 2002 after the resolution in support of this day was passed by the UN General assembly. Bangladesh took the lead by getting this day enshrined in the international calendar and therefore special congratulations were extended to the Bangladesh High Commission and citizens. 

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South Africa has 11 officially recognised languages, while India has 22. The importance of the mother language in education is well known. Children have a better understanding of a curriculum if it is taught in their mother tongue, especially in the early years. 

Kumar reminded guests that: “Language enriches our culture and culture enriches life, therefore our formation as a cultural being is not complete without our language.” 

Various presentations were performed by artists, with dancing, singing and poetry from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and various parts of India encapsulating the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the subcontinent. Guests enjoyed celebrating the linguistic and cultural diversity shared by the various participating countries and their embassies.