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.
February 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.
Organisers 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.firstname.lastname@example.org