WATCH: Celebrating International Mother Language Day
Politics | 21 February 2017, 1:50pm
Tell a friend
Johannesburg - Sawubona, dumelang, thobela, avuxeni, goiemore, bonjour, namaste, ola are some of the phrases that may be heard today as many people around the world celebrate International Mother Language Day.
The day, which is celebrated on February 21 every year, was established at a general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Orgnisation (Unesco) in 1999.
It also symbolises the tragic events of 1952 when students in Bangladesh were shot and killed by the police after they demonstrated for the recognition of their language as one of the two national languages in Pakistan.
The United Nations also affirms that languages are the most powerful instrument of preserving and developing tangible and intangible heritage.
But it goes beyond understanding and mastering a mere greeting for one to speak, embrace and value their mother tongue.
The Pan South African Language Board has meanwhile declared February as Language Activism Month. The campaigns is aimed at encouraging all citizens not to speak their mother tongues but live their languages.
The organisations has also planned various activities throughout today with the hashtag #SpeakItLiveIt.