On this day 68 years ago, Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Shafique, Jabbar and many others laid down their lives in Dhaka to establish Bangla as the state language of erstwhile Pakistan
The Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC observed Shaheed Dibosh and International Mother Language Day on Friday by voicing profound respect and gratitude to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement.
On this day 68 years ago, Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Shafique, Jabbar and many others laid down their lives in Dhaka to establish Bangla as the state language of erstwhile Pakistan.
The day was also observed as International Mother Language Day as declared by Unesco on November 17, 1999.
Displaying linguistic diversity and multilingualism in brilliant fashion, artistes from Bangladesh and 11 other countries sang and danced at a cultural soiree at the Bangladesh Embassy in observance of the day.
Performers from Bangladesh, USA, Afghanistan, Colombia, Russia, Nepal, India, Thailand, Paraguay, Sri Lanka and Ukraine sang songs and danced, captivating the audience in the packed Bangabandu Auditorium Friday evening, according to a press release from the Bangladesh embassy in Washington D.C.
American diplomat Daniel Buchman recited the poem “Ekush Amar” composed by Bangladeshi diplomat Mahbub Hassan Saleh in Bangla.
Speaking on the occasion, Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Mohammad Ziauddin said the dissemination of mother languages encouraged linguistic diversity and multilingual education throughout the world.
He said respect for each other’s language inspired international solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
On Unesco’s proclamation of International Mother Language Day, the ambassador said Bangladesh as the pioneer of the resolution had a sacred obligation not only to protect Bangla but also all other languages.
Diplomats from various embassies, political leaders, journalists, representatives of social and cultural bodies and Bangladeshi expatriates attended the event.
In observance of Shaheed Dibosh, officials and employees of the embassy and their spouses, led by Ambassador Mohammad Ziauddin, paid glowing tributes to the language heroes by placing wreaths at the altar of the Shaheed Minar at one-minute past zero hour.
They stood in solemn silence for a while as a mark of deep respect to the memories of the language heroes.
In the afternoon, Secretary of State of the District of Columbia Kimberly Bassett formerly inaugurated the newly built Shaheed Minar on the embassy premises and placed wreaths at the altar.
In the morning, the ambassador hoisted the national flag at half-staff
Later, messages from the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and State Minister for Foreign Affairs were read out.
Special prayers were offered seeking divine blessings for the martyrs of the Language Movement.