Sunday 21 February 2016

Pause In Lent #2

"Nation shall speak peace unto nation" is the motto of the BBC. I am always so impressed with the brilliance of the BBC World Service, and regret the budget cuts which government has imposed down the years. I admire the BBC Foreign Correspondents who have such amazing linguistic skills and produce great reportage from all round the world 
- people like Lucy Williamson who covered the Malaysian Airliner Crash when she was in Seoul, then was moved on to Paris, where her coverage of the gun attacks in November was both sensitive and informative. To be able to understand and respect someone else's language is important. A person's 'mother tongue' is precious to them.
Did you know that today, 21st February, is marked round the world as "International Mother Language Day" ? Its origins are very sad- but people were determined to find something good.

The main purpose of celebrating this day is to promote the awareness of language and cultural diversity all across the world. It was first announced by UNESCO on November 17, 1999. Since then it is being celebrated every year. Languages are the most powerful way to preserve and develop culture and to promote it all across the world. In 1947 at the time of partition of Pakistan, the province Bengal was divided into two parts: the western part became India and the eastern part is known as East Bengal which was later known as East Pakistan. At that time there were many economic, social and cultural issues including linguistic issue. In 1948 when government announced Urdu as the national language it sparked the protest among the Bengali speaking majority of Pakistan. The protest got out of control and ended with the death of four protesters from the University of Dhaka who were shot by the police, on 21st February. The students' deaths during the fight for their mother language are now remembered by The International Mother Language Day.

I am not particularly good at other languages - but if I go abroad, I do try to learn the basics [please, thank you, hello, goodbye etc]  and I love finding out about other cultures [and cuisines] There is so much to learn from the others on our planet. And so much we have to share too...
Then I saw another angel flying in the heavens, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. [Rev 14]

Is English your Mother Language? How do you speak with friends from different cultures?

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