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International Mother Language Day is a celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity, and multilingualism, held every year on 21 February worldwide. Its observance was first announced by UNESCO in 1999, and subsequently recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, when in 2008 it formally estabilished the International Year of Languages.
On the same day, people in Bangladesh also commemorate Shoheed Divosh (Martyrs’ Day), sometimes just called Ekushey (which simply translates as “Twenty-first”): on February 21, 1952, many students from different educational institutions such as Dhaka University, Jagannath University, Dhaka Medical College, who were demonstrating for the recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka (near High Court), which is the capital of present-day Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Bangladesh. Feb 21, 2015
Mandatory credit: Suvra Kanti Das / UnFrame