Walking for languages

CANBERRA’S  inaugural “Language Day Walk” went off in fine style last Friday, as more than 300 Participants from the ACT and New South Wales walked around the shores of Lake Burley Griffin from Questacon to King’s Park.

IMG_0275February 21 is acknowledged worldwide and by UNESCO  as International Mother Language Day, originally celebrated to mark the fight of Bengali-speaking to retain their mother language and now celebrated all around the world.

The walk was organised by the newly-formed International Mother Language Movement, which has attracted representatives from many different communities and most notably from Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, for whom the retention of original languages is of the greatest importance.

The program was attended by Chris Bourke MLA, Lieutenant General Chowdhury, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Canberra and representatives of different ethnic groups, walking under the slogan “My Language – My Pride”, translated for  the occasion into many different languages.

Canberra’s “Gourmet Band” entertained visitors to the family event, which, the organisers said, had attracted “lots of average Australian families, who came to show their support and respect for the multilingual diversity of Australia.”

At the endpoint of the walk, conclusion of the walk there were linguistics activities and speeches from ‘Language Champions’ and supporters.

S1060046Organisers said that the Language Walk would continue as an annual event in Canberra in the hope that other states and Northern Territory will  stage their own walks to create awareness to preserve all languages.

The aims of the  International Mother Language Movement in Australia are to influence Australian Language Policy, engage with ‘Language Champions’ across Australia to progress the movement, Australians aware about the significance of mother and heritage languages and to establish a place or monument or garden in in Canberra to celebrate the importance of global languages and multilingual diversity in Australia.

For further information contact IMLM.21@gmail.com


4 Responses to “Walking for languages”

  1. Guy Hutcho
    February 22, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

    A great day had by all. Loved the dancing!!!!

  2. Ross Dennis
    February 22, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    It was a fun and fabulous event!

    It is events like this that help build bridges between cultures and make all of us appreciate the great peaceful diversity that we have here in Australia. In particular the walk demonstrates the richness of each other’s language and culture and the importance of retaining these into the future.

    Thanks to Ziaul, MD Islam, the many people performing, attending, participating and particularly the Bangladeshi Association for convening the initial and now second Mother Language Walk 2015.

  3. Shahjahan Kabir
    February 25, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    simply excellent !

  4. Ziaul Hoque
    February 25, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Thanks Helen for such nice story. It is a great news for the Canberra community. Canberrans can enjoy the linguistic didercity in one day in one place after the National Multicultural Festival. Maybe Canberra will be a champion of such campaigns and first in the world.

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