Every year, 21st February is observed as the International Mother Language Day worldwide under the recognition of UNESCO. The day marks the historic Language Movement of 1952, when several unarmed civilians of present-day Bangladesh sacrificed their lives to uphold the dignity of their mother tongue Bangla. In line with that spirit and to honour the struggles and sacrifices of our fearless martyrs, a week-long virtual is being organized by the Language Center, (), from 20 February to 26 February, 2021. The Green University Club for Languages is also working alongside the Language Center, GUB, to organize this fest.
The inaugural ceremony of the Mother Language Fest 2021 took place on 20 February 2021 at 07:00 PM. The Convener of the Mother Language Fest 2021, Ms. Serajum Munira, Director. Language Center, and Assistant Professor, Department of English, delivered the Welcome Speech. Special Guest Mr K. M. Wazed Kabir, Honorable Chairperson, Department of English, and Special Guest Dr. Abul Hossain, Honorable Chairperson, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, delivered motivating speech and appreciation. Professor Dr. Milton Biswas, Department of Bangla, Jagannath University, graced the event as the Guest of Honour and highly appreciated the diverse arrangements of the festival. Later, Honorable Chief Guest, Prof. Dr. Md. Abdur Razzaque, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Green University, delivered an inspiring speech appreciating the organizers and declared the inauguration of the . Ms Tanzia Mobarak, Lecturer, Department of English, and Coordinator, Mother Language Fest, hosted the inaugural ceremony.
Right after the inauguration ceremony, the first event of the fest titled “গ্রিনের নানাভাষী শিক্ষার্থীদের উপস্থাপনা” or “Speech by GUB Students of Various Ethno-linguistic Background” took place. Here, the students presented their respective Bangla, Chakma, Hajong, Marma, and Tripura linguistic heritage both in their mother tongues and in translation for the audience. Later, Special Guest Mr Dinalo Chakma, Assistant Professor, Jessore Science and Technology University, shared reflections on this multilingual event and his experiences of being a Chakma native speaker in Bangladeshi Academia.
Next, a competition on Bangladeshi Regional Dialects themed “Amar Jela-e Shera” or “আঞ্চলিক ভাষায় লড়াইঃ আমার জেলা-ই সেরা!” took place. Students from Green University of Bangladesh participated in this event and won various prizes. This event had three outstanding judges: Dr. Abul Hossain, Honorable Chairperson, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Mr K. M. Wazed Kabir, Honorable Chairperson, Department of English, and Dr. Md. Afzal Hossain Khan, Assistant Professor, Journalism and Media Communication Department, Green University of Bangladesh. Ms Sumaiya Afreen, Lecturer, Department of English and Language Center, hosted this competition. The program came to an end with cultural performances.
A number of events will take place in the coming days of the festival which include: Inauguration of “Indigenous Language and Culture Unit” at Green University, International Students’ Symposium titled “Deepabali: An International Virtual Symposium on Language, Literature and Culture”, Literary Adda on “Bangladeshi Oral Literatures”, Quiz Competition on “Pramita Bangla Spelling”, and an International Panel Discussion on “Endangered Languages of the Bengal Region” with esteemed scholars in the field.
We are truly indebted to all our honorable guests who participated on the first day of the fest and supported our little venture.
We would also like to thank our committee members of Mother Language Fest 2021 and dear colleagues of Language Center without whose support these events would not have been possible: Ms Serajum Munira Ma’am, Mr Rasel Kabir sir, Mr Abdullah al Masum sir, Ms Sumaiya Afreen ma’am, Ms Halima Akter ma’am, Mr Rabbi Rasel sir, Mr. Inzamam sir, and Mr Zaber sir.