IWU to Celebrate International Mother Language Day

February 19, 2008 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The international students at Illinois Wesleyan invite the campus to join them in celebrating International Mother Language Day 2008 on Thursday, Feb. 21. Students will be at tables during lunch and dinner in the Bertholf Commons and during lunch in the Dugout within the Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington) showing students, faculty and staff how their names appear in different languages.

International Mother Language Day was proposed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by Bangladesh in honor of three university students who were killed on February 21, 1952 during a peaceful protest when their government would not recognize their native language, Bangla.

UNESCO passed a resolution in 1999 making every February 21st thereafter International Mother Language Day, which is now widely celebrated annually around the world as well as at Illinois Wesleyan University.

This year also marks the beginning of International Year of Languages, declared by UNESCO with their slogan “Languages Matter!” To celebrate this event, the organization invites governments, educational institutions, and professional associations, along with several others, to increase their own activities in promoting the protections of all languages, particularly those that are endangered. 

For more information, contact Reenie Bradley at 556-3190 or by e-mail at rbradley@iwu.edu. The student leader of this project, Farah Munir, can be contacted by e-mail at smunir@iwu.edu.

Contact: Sehaj Sethi, (309) 556-3181