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Bangladeshis salute Bangla
February 23, 2013 , 9 : 21 pm
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cultural pride: Bangladesh diplomats hoisting the national flag. Photo – A.R. Rajkumar/ TIMES OF OMAN
About 75 Bengalis gathered at the Embassy of Bangladesh on Thursday morning to celebrate International Mother Language Day, which commemorates the movement to have Bangla (Bengali) recognised as their official state language.
Under the warm sun, the officials slowly hoisted the flag as the national anthem of Bangladesh played in the background. One of the diplomats then read a statement from Dr. Dipu Moni, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
"On this day in 1952, history was made. We wanted recognition of Bangla, spoken by a majority of the people, as one of our state languages. When this was denied to us by the West Pakistanis, we protested. The seed of independence for our country, Bangladesh, was sown in that historic struggle for our mother tongue," stated Moni.
After nearly 20 years of political struggle and popular uprisings, some of which was met with violence, Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan in 1971. In 1999, Unesco recognised the struggle and now the whole world celebrates International Mother Language Day on February 21, marking the right of all people to their respective mother tongues.
"Bangladeshi embassies around the world celebrate the day, expressing their love for their land and language.
"We aim to share with the new generation of Bangladesh nationals living abroad our rich history and diverse culture and encourage them to learn and uphold the language for which their forefathers fought and made the ultimate sacrifice," Moni added.
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