On Wednesday, 21 February, the International Student Experience Group organised an engaging event to celebrate International Mother Language Day. According to the United Nations, “International Mother Languages Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.”
Many of the languages in the spoken world are endangered by globalisation processes, so International Mother Language day exists to celebrate, notice and nurture awareness of cultural and linguistic traditions across the world.
Here, on the University of Exeter and Falmouth University Penryn campuses, IMLD was celebrated by an immersive social event. International students were invited along to the Upper Stannary, where they could meet others who speak the same languages as them- people who they may not have met before. This was a great way of celebrating the rich diversity of our campus. We have students here who speak a whole plethora of different languages, and this event was a great way of celebrating that.
“I really enjoyed the company of people from different countries and speaking different languages.”
Mining Engineering Student
Around 90-100 students attended- significantly more than we expected. This turnout, along with the appreciation of added drinks vouchers and free food made the whole night a huge success. As stressed by the United Nations, Globalisation processes and the proliferation of internet communication are combining to threaten linguistic diversity, so holding events like this is crucially important in promoting multilingualism and preserving the intellectual and cultural heritage which our languages carry.
“For me it was definitely one of the best evenings this semester.”
Link to More Information
For a more in-depth understanding of International Mother Language Day, and the value of events which celebrate mother languages, look to the following articles by UNESCO and the United Nations:
To find out more about the opportunities and support systems available to international students, pop in to the FXU offices.
For further information, or to provide future suggestions for impactful internationally-focused events, please do not hesitate to contact our Widening Student Patricipation Assistant, Cassy Hoare, via: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Mother Languages Day