Feb 17 2006

Int’l Day of Mother Languages to debut in China

Published by at February 17, 2006 3:15 pm under Global Culture,Globalization

An International Day for the Celebration of Mother Languages, which falls on Feb. 21 every year, will make its debut in China.

The United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO)introduced the day in 1999, aiming to promote people’s awareness of their mother tongue, which, as an communication tool, represents a specific nationality or ethnic group and embodies a unique culture.

According to Sun Lei, a senior official with the Beiijng office of UNESCO, people all over the world are using 6,000 to 10,000 languages as their mother tongue. However, half of these languages are dying or in danger of decline, due to accelerating globalization.

“The international community now has the hard task of safeguarding these languages and maintaining the world’s cultural diversity, which is believed to help promote peace and stability,” Sun said at a press conference here on Friday.

Zong Gang, a senior official with the chief sponsor, the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), said that China, faced with challenges and opportunities brought about by globalization, has fully recognized the importance of maintaining cultural diversity for the world’s peace and development. To promote development of the nation’s diversified culture can help build up a harmonious Chinese society.

As a result, he said, the Chinese government responded immediately to the UNESCO’s proposals on the celebration of the International Day of Mother Languages.

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