International Mother Language Day
আমার ভাইয়ের রক্তে রাঙানো একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারি
আমি কি ভুলিতে পারি
ছেলেহারা শত মায়ের অশ্রু গড়ায়ে ফেব্রুয়ারি
আমি কি ভুলিতে পারি
আমার সোনার দেশের রক্তে রাঙানো ফেব্রুয়ারি
আমি কি ভুলিতে পারি।।
Above is the Bengali song that was written in 1952, when some college students from East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) heard that their beloved mother language, Bengali, which is spoken by the majority of that region, would not be the state language. Instead, some foreign language would take its place. They felt the urge to stand up against it, even though there were military rules against protests. They filled the streets surrounding their university with colorful placards and banners, asking the government to change its stance, and the military started firing on them. They died in protecting their mother language that day, because they knew that if the language dies, also the culture dies. This happened on Feb. 21, 1952, and this song is called “The Song of 21st February.”
My brothers blood spattered 21 February.
Can I forget the twenty-first of February
reddened by the love of my brother?
The twenty-first of February, built by the tears
of a hundred mothers robbed of their sons,
Can I ever forget it?
In 2000, UNESCO announced this day to be the International Mother Language Day to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism. There are 195 countries on this Earth, and though UF is a small community, we have students from 42 of these countries. Diversity is important to the University of Findlay. For years we have been hosting International Night. Now, to take it one step further, for the first time the Department of Language and Culture is going to celebrate the International Mother Language Day on February 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Center for Student Life. The celebration will feature music and spoken word performances in different languages like Bengali, Arabic, English, etc.
It’s a very proud moment for me as a Bangladeshi, as a citizen of Earth and a student of UF. So please come and join us for this amazing program.