International mother language day

Communication of the Minority Ombudsman on the international mother language day

At the initiative of UNESCO, on 21 February each year, we celebrate the international mother language day. In 1952 in Bangladesh, which was a part of Pakistan at that time, the Urdu language was declared the only official language. Since Bangladeshi's mother tongue is not Urdu, but Bengali protests and demonstrations have begun. In a major demonstration organized on 21 February in Dakka, the violent action of the police led to five deaths. On Bangladesh's proposal, the United Nations declared this day as the international mother language day to commemorate the event. More than 6,000 languages are spoken on Earth, about half of them are at risk. Of the endangered languages, two languages spoken by native people die out every month. Although the process of extinction of languages seems unstoppable, UNESCO considers it important to point the world's attention to this phenomenon.

As a deputy ombudsman in charge of defending the rights of nationalities living in Hungary, I consider this day to be of paramount importance, as it puts linguistic diversity in the spotlight. There are many nationalities in our country who do their utmost to preserve and care for their mother tongue for the survival of their own identity. In Hungary, the Fundamental Law guarantees that the nationalities living here have the right to use their mother tongue, to use individual and community names in their own language, to cultivate their own culture and to teach in their mother tongue. This constitutional right is regulated in detail in the Act on the Rights of National Minorities. The Act safeguards the right to celebrate family events and related ceremonies in the mother tongue of the persons belonging to nationalities and the right to register their names and the names, surnames of their children according to the rules of their mother tongue on official documents; the right to learn, cultivate, cultivate, convey, and participate in education in their mother tongue. In their connections with public authorities, such as judicial and administrative proceedings, the relevant procedural laws ensure the right to use the mother tongue. In the National Assembly, the nationality representative and the nationality advocate - as well as the representative of the local government - may use their mother tongue. In addition, the law provides for the publication of municipal decrees, announcements and forms in the mother tongue of the national minority, as well as the names of the public offices and the indication of locality and street names in the mother tongue.

The international mother language day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the variety of national minority languages spoken in our country, as well as raising public awareness of the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity and language learning

http://www.un.org/en/events/motherlanguageday/