International Mother Language Day Celebration

The Town of Manchester will host the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) celebration on Saturday, February 25th & Sunday, February 26th. Join your neighbors and local multicultural organizations in this celebration of IMLD & the array of cultures and communities that have helped transform Manchester into the proudly diverse, inclusive and welcoming town that it is today.

International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on February 21, initiated by the people of Bangladesh, to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

The holiday was declared by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November of 1999. Later, in 2002, the General Assembly of the UN officially marked the day with a resolution to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.”

The Town of Manchester and its multicultural community partners will honor and celebrate IMLD with a weekend of events, free of charge & open to the public, including:

Writers Meet & Greet

Date: Saturday, February 25, 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Whiton Memorial Library, 100 N. Main Street

Join us for a storyteller, music, arts & crafts, poetry and an author meet and greet. Reception will be catered by Anthony’s Jamaican Restaurant. For more information, call the Manchester Public Library at (860)645-0821 or visit:

Multicultural Event with Music & Dance

Date: Sunday, February 26, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Location: Manchester High School, Bailey Auditorium, 134 East Middle Turnpike

Music, poetry, dance & more from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

“Language is Art” Exhibit

Date: Sunday, February 26, 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Location: Manchester High School, Bailey Auditorium Lobby

Come enjoy creative works crafted by local & international artists, authors, poets & more!

Dr. Gulshan Ara, the Chairperson for the Writer’s Meet and Greet, emphasized the cultural significance & necessity for an in-depth IMLD celebration such as this.

“IMLD creates a platform that facilitates greater interactions among people of various color, gender, language, race and religion [&] fosters respect and understanding to create a colorful tapestry proudly proclaiming that We, humans, are more alike than different,” Ara said.

In “The Relevance of 21st February to the 21st Century,” Quinnipiac University Professor of International Business, Dr. Mohammad Niamat Elahee, further discussed the global necessity for IMLD, writing:

“We are witnessing the slow disappearance of many languages and silent obliteration of cultures along with those languages…most events lose traction with time, few events stay long in our memory and continue to motivate us,” Elahee wrote. “And rare are those whose significance transcends time and space. [IMLD] epitomizes one such rare event. Just as a mother’s love for children never dies, similarly, the spirit of [IMLD] shall never dissipate.”

The United Nations, who has been near the epicenter of IMLD since the holiday’s inception, further emphasized the need to document & eternalize all of our world’s spoken and written languages.

“Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage,” the United Nations wrote. “At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.”

For those looking to further celebrate International Mother Language Day, look no further than the United Nations. Worldwide celebrations include, but are not limited to:

UN Headquarters in New York

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 1:15 PM – 3:00 PM
Discussion with senior officials from the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Nigeria and Portugal to the United Nations, as well as the UN Secretariat and UNESCO, followed by multilingual cultural performances. Organized by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Nigeria, Portugal to the United Nations in collaboration with the UN Secretariat and UNESCO.

Brussels, Belgium

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Webinar on the use of the Dutch language and other mother languages within the education systems in the Netherlands, Belgium (Flanders and Brussels) and Suriname, presented by UNRIC in partnership with Taalunie, the Netherlands, Flanders and Suriname commissions for UNESCO, the National Language Council of Suriname, the UNIC for the Caribbean area, and the online platform Drongo.

Geneva, Switzerland
Tuesday, February 21, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Cherish your mother language” – Virtual discussion featuring remarks by the Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages of the University of Adelaide (Australia), and by the Director of the Division of Conference Management and Chair of the Multilingualism Action Team at UN Geneva, followed by a live Q&A period. Presented by the UNOG Library and the Division of Conference Management. Open for participation via MS Teams.

Whether you celebrate in-person with us or join in at one of the many virtual commemorations, we hope you will remember the cultural significance & necessity of this year’s International Mother Language Day celebration.

Questions? Please visit the International Mother Language Day Facebook event for further information.

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