AKA Dhaka celebrates the International Mother Language Day | Aga Khan Academies

AKA Dhaka celebrates the International Mother Language Day

21 February 2023

On Monday, 20 February, the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka celebrated the International Mother Language Day with a whole school assembly to honour the language martyrs of Bangladesh and celebrate every language people speak around the world.

The day commemorates how the people of Bangladesh laid down their lives to retain the right to speak in Bangla, their mother tongue, on 21 February 1952. No country ever sacrificed lives for its national language, so the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognised the day as International Mother Language Day in 1999.

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) students commenced the special assembly by singing the national anthem in front of a packed audience, with everyone in the courtyard singing along. Poem recitations and song performances by the PYP students followed the anthem. PYP students and faculty presented a vibrant dance performance to pay homage to the various ethnic groups of Bangladesh and their languages. The next performance was a special song in both Bangla and French by Grade 2 students. The song was followed by students reciting patriotic poems. A special highlight of the programme was a number of faculty members from different parts of the world coming up on stage and addressing the audience in their mother tongue. As a band, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) students performed the most iconic song of the International Mother Language Day celebration, Ekusher Gaan. The programme ended with an exceptional dance performance by the MYP students, showcasing the youth’s indomitable spirit from time to time in the history of the Bangla language and Bangladesh.

“We showed our respect and honoured the sacrifices of the language martyrs through the amazing performances,” said Grade 5 student Ahmed Muaz. “The programme was enjoyable for all of us.”

Senior School Principal Fahmida Chowdhury sheds light on the importance of going back to the root and preserving our mother tongues.

“Beauty of a tree is visible by its branches, but strength comes from the roots,” Ms Fahmida said. “Hence, the day’s significance is impeccable as mother languages are crucial for fostering cultural diversity and expressing our identities.”