Global Today News Desk
“Contemporary globalisation poses a challenge for linguistic diversity but in some ways makes the intergenerational retention of diverse languages more feasible – through linguistic and cultural connectivity. We need cross-border advocacy for multilingualism which aims to be nationally cohesive, economically productive and socially just. Celebration of the International Mother Language Day is an apt occasion to remind all that mother language is a bearer of respective cultural heritage, including promotion of cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue” said Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, MP at the Ministerial segment of the two day-long cross-border multicultural program jointly organized by the High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka, Taylor’s University School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia to commemorate International Mother Language Day 2021 on 18-19 February 2021 virtually .
The first day event included Ministerial-level statements, followed by a panel discussion. At the outset, a song titled “Amar Bhai er rokte rangano Ekushe February ” was performed in Bangla and Malay languages to show the tribute to the memories of the Language Martyrs of 21 February 1952. The program started with the welcome address of Prof. Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management, Taylor’s University, Malaysia.
Besides, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri delivered the opening speech as guest of honor in the Ministerial segment of the day one event through a video message. In his speech, Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh further said “ A cross border multilingual program on this auspicious occasion of International Mother Language Day 2021 will work as a bridge of language and cultural connectivity among the South and South East Asian countries”.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia emphasized the importance of the protection and preservation of languages as it translates to the protection and preservation of culture and heritage. She also applauded the efforts of Bangladesh in making the International Mother Language Day a worldwide celebration, highlighting its importance to the world.
Prof. Fakrul Alam, Department of English, University of Dhaka, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Salinah Binti Ja’afar, Department of Linguistics, Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya, Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education attended the panel discussion as speakers. Besides, Prof. Firdous Azim, Chair of the Department of English and Humanities, BRAC University and Prof. Dr. Wan Zawawi Wan Ibrahim, Adjunct Professor, Taylor’s University attended the panel discussion as discussants.
The cultural part of the event will place on 19 February 2021 in the 2nd day of the event. Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Mr. Md. Golam Sarwar and Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Ms. Haznah Md Hashim will participate in the event. A multicultural performance will take place. Besides live performances of Bangladesh and Malaysia, countries like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives will participate in the cultural event by recorded video, being represented by the respective diplomatic Missions in Kuala Lumpur.