The Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria participated in the UNESCO International Mother Language Day Celebrations organized by the South Asian High Commissions in Pretoria on 25 February 2023.
International Mother Language Day is celebrated on 21 February every year.
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed International Mother Language Day in November 1999. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution of 2002. The underlying premise was the recognition that languages play a vital role in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, and in building inclusive knowledge societies and preserving cultural heritage.
At this event, attended by around 150 persons, Sri Lanka presented a patriotic Sinhala song by two young Sri Lankan students attired in the national dress, and a patriotic Sri Lankan Tamil song over audio. Diplomats and other attendees made positive comments about the recognition of mother languages in Sri Lanka. They noted the integral role that language can play in the post-conflict reconciliation process.
Among other Asian nations, India presented traditional dance items and songs in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Telugu and Gujarati which are among the many mother languages of India. Bangladesh presented items in their mother languages, Urdu and Bengali.
The event concluded with guests being served traditional Sri Lankan, Indian, and Bangladeshi food.
High Commission of Sri Lanka
03 March 2023