Once again, this year the Bangladeshi Community led the way in marking and celebrating the International Mother tongue Day. The event was hosted by the Chair, Ian Elgie and Vice Chair Mozmil Hussain of the United Nations Association Eastbourne on Sunday 27th February 2022 at Community Wise in Ocklynge Road, Old Town, Eastbourne.  

This event is now celebrated around the world – in recognition of the Bengali language martyrs.  They laid down their lives for establishing the rightful place of Bengali language, to preserve the difference in cultures and linguistic diversity which fosters tolerance and respect for others. Whilst this atrocity against Bengali students at Dhaka University in 1952 seems like an incident in a faraway land; this was a milestone which led to a much wider movement, recognised by the United Nations since 1999. 

Speeches by the many invited guests made direct connection between language and culture including the bond it creates within each community.  They spoke of the need to have an awareness of each other’s languages and the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. This in turn helps us to communicate more easily and effectively, reducing misunderstandings.  Encouraging our young children to read and communicate in their own language as well as learning the language of the Country we live in, enriches their confidence.  

The much-awaited International Mother language monument has been delayed due to the pandemic but we are closer to submitting plans to the Borough Council.  Our hope is that the monument will be situated in a prominent position in Eastbourne once planning permission has been granted.  It will be a solid recognition and a reminder of the importance of language.
Mozmil Hussain the driving force behind this event said that “During lockdown I prayed that this day will come soon and today, my prayers were answered as we gathered for this multi-lingual event in Eastbourne which recognises the importance of language”