The Bangladesh Embassy in Seoul and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO commemorated Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day 2023 in Seoul on Wednesday.
The day is celebrated every year worldwide to promote linguistic and cultural diversity as well as multilingualism.
In honoring Bangladesh’s efforts to protect their language, UNESCO also declared Feb. 21 International Mother Language Day in 1999.
Delivering opening remarks at the event, Bangladesh Ambassador to Korea Delwar Hossain paid respects to Bangladesh’s first president, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who "played a leading role during the Language Movement in 1952 and subsequently steered the nation to independence" in 1971.
Hossain highlighted the background of International Mother Language Day and the government of Bangladesh's initiatives for the protection and promotion of mother tongues and the cultural diversity of minor ethnic communities in his country.
Meanwhile, KNCU Secretary-General Kyung Koo-han referred to the commonality in the history of Korea and Bangladesh's struggle to preserve the dignity of their respective mother languages.
Kyung stressed the need for concerted international efforts to promote and protect mother languages and cultural heritages.
Envoys of India, Indonesia and Sierra Leone and the president of the Joint Board of South and North Korea for the Compilation of Gyeoremal-Keunsajeon delivered keynote speeches highlighting initiatives to promote and protect mother languages, followed by a cultural program by performers from Bangladesh, India and Colombia.
Earlier in the morning, the Bangladesh Embassy paid homage to language martyrs by placing floral wreaths at the Shaheed Minar monument of Multicultural Park in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province.
The embassy’s national flag flew at half-mast, and staff observed a minute of silence.