Happy International Mother Language Day 2024: Wishes, Quotes and Photos to Share on WhatsApp and Facebook – News18

On February 21, 1952, a spark ignited in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Students at the university, fuelled by a love for their mother tongue, Bangla, defied the oppressive rule of West Pakistan which imposed Urdu as the sole official language. Their peaceful protest, demanding recognition and respect for Bangla, turned tragic when police opened fire, claiming the lives of five young voices. This sacrifice, however, became a potent symbol of linguistic resistance, echoing across the globe.

International Mother Language Day honours the 1952 Dhaka University students who bravely fought for Bangla. (Image: Shutterstock)

In 1999, UNESCO recognized the significance of this event, declaring February 21 as International Mother Language Day, a day to celebrate linguistic diversity, promote multilingualism, and remember the struggles for language rights. It serves as a reminder that languages are more than just words; they are vessels of culture, identity, and the very essence of who we are.


“Language is the road map of a culture.” – Rita Mae Brown

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Those who know only one language cannot put a name to their own thoughts.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

ALSO READ: International Mother Language Day 2024: Date, History, Significance, and Languages in India, World

“Every language is a world unto itself.” – Umberto Eco

“Diversity of languages is a strength, not a weakness.” – Nelson Mandela

“Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and transmitting civilization.” – Desmond Tutu

Today, let’s commit to safeguarding endangered languages and ensuring that every voice has the opportunity to be heard and celebrated. (Image: Shutterstock)

“A language is worth dying for.” – Moazzam Hussain (Bangladeshi linguist)

“Respect for one’s mother tongue is respect for oneself.” – Chinua Achebe

“Languages are living things. They change, they grow, they die.” – Elie Wiesel

“Let us celebrate the languages that make our world vibrant and diverse.” – Kofi Annan


May International Mother Language Day remind us to cherish the unique tapestry of languages that colour our world.

May multilingualism be embraced, opening doors to understanding and empathy across cultures.

May every child have the opportunity to learn and thrive in their mother tongue.

May the voices of marginalized languages be heard and celebrated.

May the spirit of the Bangladeshi students ignite a passion for language preservation in all of us.

May we honour the sacrifices made in the name of language rights.

May our words bridge gaps and build bridges between communities.

May languages continue to evolve and adapt, reflecting the dynamic nature of our world.

May multilingualism be seen as a valuable asset, not a barrier.

May International Mother Language Day inspire a future where all languages are respected and valued.

International Mother Language Day FAQs

What is it?

International Mother Language Day is a global event celebrated on February 21 each year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It also raises awareness about endangered languages and the importance of preserving them.

Why is it celebrated?

  1. There are around 7,000 languages spoken in the world, but sadly, many are endangered. This day celebrates the richness and value of this diversity.
  2. Language is deeply connected to culture and identity. Protecting languages helps preserve cultural heritage and traditions.
  3. Being multilingual has many benefits, including cognitive development, improved communication skills, and better understanding of different cultures. This day promotes learning additional languages.


The idea came from Bangladesh, where students were killed on February 21st, 1952, while protesting for the recognition of their mother tongue, Bengali.

UNESCO declared it an official day in 1999.

How is it celebrated?

  1. Educational events, workshops, and conferences
  2. Poetry readings, music performances, and film screenings in various languages
  3. Campaigns to raise awareness about endangered languages
  4. Individuals learning new languages or celebrating their own mother tongue.