The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000.
UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.
Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.
Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.
Since 2002, SOHL has held public celebrations in recognition of Heritage Language Day. This event is FREE to the public and we welcome everyone to attend.
The University of Regina hosted Heritage Language Day on Saturday, February 9. The event Master of Ceremonies was Zarqa Nawaz, CBC Saskatchewan News.
Greetings were brought from:
Dr. Thomas Chase, Provost and Vice-President, University of Regina
Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, MP Regina-Wascana
Mr. Todd Goudy, MLA Melfort, on behalf of Hounourable Gene Makowsky, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport
Ms. Carla Beck, MLA Regina Lakeview, on behalf of Mr. Ryan Meili, Leader of the Official Opposition
Deputy Mayor Lori Bresciani, on behalf of Mayor Michael Fougere
Mr. James Ingold, Past President, SaskCulture Inc.
Mr. Bob Friedrich, Vice-President, Saskatchewan Organization for Heritage Languages
Confucius Institute, University of Regina - Chinese Dragon Dance
Regina Bangla School
Ridna Shkola Ukrainian Saturday School - UNF Regina
Regina Malayalee Association
Albanian Community Kids
Gujarati School of Regina
Regina Hibiki Taiko Inc.
Confucius Institute, University of Regina - Chinese Zither
Regina German Club - Das Volle Lederpasket
We captured some highlights of our celebration of Heritage Language Day: