We’d like to wish all our members a happy International Mother Language Day!
February 21 is a day to celebrate our freedom to speak in our mother tongue. The holiday was introduced by UNESCO in 1999 and is recognized by the United Nations General Assembly.
UNESCO chose the date in honor of the actions taken in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh, as part of the Bengali Language Movement. On February 21, 1952, when Bangladesh was part of Pakistan, students, while demonstrating in favor of recognizing Bangla as a national language, were fired upon by the police and several were killed. Their sacrifice is commemorated on the anniversary of the tragedy.
In Bangladesh, the day, called by several names including Language Movement Day, Ekushey February and Martyrs’ Day, is a major national holiday. Activities each year are centered around Shaheed Minar, the national monument commemorating the protesters killed during the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations.
The monument was originally built immediately after the events of February 21, 1952, while the one that stands today was built in 1972. Payza Vice-President Firoz Patel visited Shaheed Minar while in Bangladesh in January for e-Commerce Week 2013.
So happy Language Movement Day to all our Bangladeshi members, and a happy International Mother Language Day to everyone!
For more information about e-Commerce Week 2013 and Firoz Patel’s visit to Dhaka: