International Mother Language Day

Feb. 19, 2012    

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University’s international students are inviting the campus community to join together in celebrating International Mother Language Day 2013. International Mother Language Day is a public holiday in Bangladesh, where it is also known as Shohid Dibôsh, or Shaheed Day. To celebrate, students will gather in the DugOut in Memorial Center (104 University St., Bloomington) from 12-1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 to display to 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 1999 to honor three university students who were killed on February 21, 1952 during a peaceful protest when their government would not recognize their native language (Bangala). This area (then known as East Pakistan) seceded from West Pakistan to form Bangladesh in 1971. In 1999 UNESCO passed a resolution declaring every February 21 thereafter International Mother Language Day. According to the website, the celebration is designed to “promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education, to highlight greater awareness of the importance of mother tongue education.” It is now celebrated annually around the world and at IWU.

For more information, contact Reenie Bradley, International Student and Scholar Advisor at (309) 556-3190.

Contact: Natalya Grabavoy '13 (309) 556-3181,