International Mother Language Day 2018

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Upper Darby Township is proud of the diversity of culture and the rich traditions that so vitally enhance our community. It is key to protect linguistic diversity in our township cultural acceptance. International Mother Language Day endorses the fact that languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. It is important to note the Upper Darby Township and School District incorporates over 62 languages and dialects in this very proud and diverse community.

Language is fundamental to communication of all kinds, and it is communication that makes change and development possible in human society. There is growing awareness that languages play a vital role in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, but also in strengthening collaboration and attaining quality education for all.

In November 1999, the General conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization proclaimed the 21st day of February of every year as International Mother Language Day. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of what was then East Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. This is an event in world history where citizens of a country gave their lives in a non-violent protest movement to retain the right to use their mother language.

Languages, with their complex implication for identity, communication, social integration, education and development are of strategic importance for people everywhere. When languages fade, so does the worlds rich tapestry of cultural diversity. More than 50 percent of the approximately 7,000 languages spoken in the world are likely to die out within a few generations.

Therefore, I, Thomas N. Micozzie, Mayor of the Upper Darby Township, along with Township Council, proclaim February 21, 2018 as:


In Upper Darby Township. I encourage all residents to raise awareness for multiethnic and multilingual diversity and to recognize the rich cultural traditions of which mother language is one of the most precious.