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International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples observed

  • Published at 06:15 pm August 9th, 2019
Indigenous-day
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum’s Chittagong Hill Tracts unit bring out a procession observing the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, in Rangamati on Friday, August 9, 2019 UNB

It is estimated that, in every two weeks, an indigenous language disappears, placing at risk the respective indigenous cultures

Members of ethnic groups around the globe are observing the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on Friday with the theme ‘Indigenous Languages’.

Indigenous languages in particular are a significant factor in a wide range of other indigenous issues, notably education, scientific and technological development, biosphere and the environment, freedom of expression, employment and social inclusion.

The large majority of the languages in danger are spoken by indigenous peoples. It is estimated that, every two weeks, an indigenous language disappears, placing at risk the respective indigenous cultures and knowledge systems.

In response to these threats, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a Resolution (A/RES/71/178) on ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

This year’s aim is to highlight the critical need to revitalize, preserve, and promote indigenous languages and share good practices through expert, interactive panels and presentation of innovative initiatives on indigenous languages.

In Rangamati, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum’s Chittagong Hill Tracts unit brought out a procession marking the day. Former MP Ushaton Talukder inaugurated the day by releasing pigeons.

Later, a discussion program was held with Prakriti Ranjan Chakma, president of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum's CHT region, in the chair.

On Wednesday, Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett hosted screening of documentary film ‘The Song Keepers’ marking the day.

Representatives of Bangladeshi ethnic communities, Bangladesh film industry, human rights activists, local media representatives and diplomats watched the documentary.

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries.

They make up less than 5% of the world's population, but account for 15% of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.