February 21 is a date of great importance in the Venezuelan calendar since it commemorates the International Day of the Mother Language, established by the United Nations Cultural, Scientific and Educational Organization (Unesco) with the aim of highlighting the importance of native languages and promoting their appreciation.
Language Diversity in Venezuela: Celebrating International Mother Language Day
In Venezuela, a series of activities are taking place to celebrate this significant day. Unesco highlights that mother tongues are fundamental to cultural diversity and the preservation of the traditions of nations. Therefore, the South American country joins this commemoration with enthusiasm.
But how is International Mother Language Day celebrated in Venezuela? There are several ways in which Venezuelans honor their native languages on this special date. The use of languages takes center stage through oral expression, writing, listening, singing, observation and emotional connection with the native languages.
This celebration becomes an opportunity to recognize and value the linguistic richness of Venezuela, which has a diversity of indigenous languages that form an integral part of its cultural heritage. It is a time to reflect on the importance of preserving and promoting linguistic diversity in the country and in the world, in order to promote inclusion and respect for all languages and cultures.
When is International Mother Language Day celebrated in Venezuela?
International Mother Language Day (DILM) is commemorated annually on February 21 in Venezuela, with the objective of promoting linguistic diversity and multilingual education.
However, this initiative was proposed for the first time by the organization Lovers of the Mother Language of the World, composed of speakers of various languages such as English, Kutchi, Cantonese, German, Filipino, Bengali and Hindi and was approved at the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in 1999, held for the first time in 2000.
Who declared February 21 as an important day?
The initiative to declare February 21 as International Mother Language Day is attributed to the organization Mother Language Lovers of the World, in homage to the people of Bangladesh.
This day has its origin in 1952, when the inhabitants of Bangladesh took to the streets to celebrate the Day of the Bengali Language Movement and were attacked by the Pakistan Army, resulting in the tragic death of many of them. Since then, this date has become a symbol of struggle for the preservation of native languages and the promotion of cultural diversity.
Language Diversity in Venezuela: A Multicultural Reality
In Venezuela, the predominant official language is Spanish, a legacy of the Spanish conquest. However, the existence of at least 31 indigenous languages belonging to different peoples is also recognized, including:
- The Pemón
- The Warao
- The Guajiro
Celebrating International Mother Language Day in 2023: Focus on Multilingual Education
This year’s edition of International Mother Language Day, entitled Multilingual Education (EML), the need to transform education, has as its main objective to transform the educational approach from a learning perspective. UNESCO has highlighted three important objectives to commemorate this 21st of February:
- Enhance multilingual education as a prevailing need to transform education.
- Supporting learning through multilingual education and the promotion of multilingualism.
- Revitalize languages in danger of extinction or in the process of disappearing.
Sharing Messages on Social Networks: Free UNESCO Cards
UNESCO has made available to the public a series of free cards for social networks on its website, which can be found at the following link »