The House of Representatives of the United States introduced a resolution recognising ‘International Mother Language Day’ on February 21 to commemorate the day when Bangladeshi students sacrificed their lives for recognition of Bengali as state language of Pakistan in 1952.
The resolution supported the goals and ideals of International Mother Language Day and encouraged people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies, programmes, and activities.
On February 19, representative Grace Meng, along with Jim McGovern, Raul Grijalva, and Deb Haaland introduced the resolution and brought attention to the importance of preserving linguistic and cultural heritage through education.
‘Whereas the annual International Mother Language Day celebration date, February 21, was chosen to commemorate the day in 1952 in Bangladesh where students died demonstrating for recognition of Bengali as a national language of Pakistan,’ said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoting the resolution text.
The day was established by UNESCO on November 17, 1999 to promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism.
The resolution noted that more than 200 languages had become extinct in the last three generations, with an additional 2,279 others classified as ‘endangered.’
Representative Grace Meng introduced the same resolution in the 113th, 114th and 115th Congresses.
Each of the resolutions was referred to the house committee on oversight and government reform, where it remained until the end of the respective Congress.
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