February 21st, International Mother Language Day
February 21st is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day. A language is the product of a community’s unique knowledge, wisdom and history. Each language is a significant part of the heritage of humanity as it contains the creativity, worldview, value system, and identity of a human community. To promote language diversity and protect the world’s languages in danger of disappearing, UNESCO decided to designate February 21st as International Mother Language Day at its 30th General Assembly in 1999.
* Mother language refers to the first language learned at home by a child, while a native language is the language of the community the child grows up in and therefore the language used by his or her group (in particular, the language of the country in which he or she grows up). Therefore, there is a difference in concept between mother language and native language. A person’s mother language and the native language of their community may not necessarily coincide, especially in countries where different languages coexist, such as India and Canada.