Activities by Region



The Children’s Performing Arts Workshop (CHIPAWO), with the support of UNESCO, commemorated the International Mother Language Day at the Zimbabwe College of Music in Harare, with a representation of a play in Shona – “Mutambo Wepanyika” by New Horizon Theatre Company. The play is an adaptation of the Spanish play written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, called “Life is a dream” .

Beside the play, many youths presented poems in different mother languages and the message of the UNESCO Director-General was read to introduce a discussion concerning promotion of “the preservation and protection of all languages used by the peoples of the world”. More

Arab States


Koranic school, Koran, child, Morocco

The “Institut Royal de la culture Amazighe (IRCAM)” in Rabat organized an event on languages including an exhibition. The UNESCO Representative for the Maghreb read the UNESCO Director-General’s message at the celebration.

Asia and the Pacific


 UNICEF and the UNESCO office in Phnom Penh drafted a joint press release to promote and protect cultural and linguistic diversity in Cambodia. More

East Timor

Education for women, Timor-Leste

The President and educational leaders of East Timor launched the new national education policy document promoting the use of children’s mother tongues in the classroom; the policy supports the learning of Tetum and Portuguese as well as other languages like Indonesian and English.” Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech, a University of Southern Queensland academic joined the ceremony.

A seminar entitled “First language first: A bridge to peace and prosperity” was presented during the launch.

Dr Taylor-Leech, member of the Linguistics Team within the Faculty of Education in Toowoomba, Australia, has been co-operating with the National Education Commission and the Ministry of Education in Timor-Leste to help draft the new policy.  More


The International Mother Language Day, particularly important for Nepal where more than 92 languages are spoken, was observed by a variety of events organized in collaboration with the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPNet), the Namuna Resource Centre in Bhairahwa, Aasman Nepal in Janakpur and the District Education Offices in Rupandehi, Dhanusha and various other places.

Likewise, interaction and debate competition on mother language in Kathmandu, reading and writing competition on mother tongue (Awadhi) as a medium of instruction in Bhairahawa, exhibition and interaction on Maithili languages in Janakpur were organised to mark the Day. More

Europe and North America


In Podgorica, the Primary school Pavle Rovinski, member of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet), prepared a song paying tribute to the Montenegro mother tongue on the occasion of the Day.


Under the aegis of the Moscow-city Department of Education, each of the ten teams selected within the Youth Forum “Moscow - City of Many Faces and Diverse Languages” made presentations and performances emphasizing the experience of intercultural and multilingual learning in their schools. The celebration was organized by the UNESCO Chair “International (Multicultural) Education” of Moscow Open Education Institute and the Center for International Education Programs, in partnership with the UNESCO Moscow Office and Center for Intercultural Education “Etnosfera”.

During the award giving ceremony the certificate of attendance had been handled along with the special prize – Tree of Languages which has become a symbol of this day celebrated traditionally in the Moscow City.

Not only this event gave to the students a practical lesson of tolerance and culture of peace within the Multicultural Megalopolis which is Moscow today but it also presented to the participants an exhibition of diverse materials on the issues of intercultural relations published by the UNESCO Chair. More


On the occasion of the Mother Language Day celebration under the auspices of UNESCO, one course in every school in Serbia was dedicated to mother language. In the community of Kovacica, the First multimedia encyclopedia of naive painting was presented during the celebration. This technique of self-taught painting is specific to the Slovak minority in Serbia and contributes to the preservation of the Slovak language.


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