17.05.2019 -

Event to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

May 9, 2019

UNESCO House (Seoul, Korea)

The Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU) held an event in front of UNESCO House in Seoul on May 9th to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages. This event was organized to raise awareness of the current status of endangered indigenous languages and to call for concerted efforts to protect and revitalize these languages.

The event began with a performance by Jerazin Children's Choir. Dressed in traditional clothing from Jeju-do, the largest island in the Republic of Korea, the group gave a performance sung purely in the Jeju language, which is listed as a "critically endangered language" in the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Endangered Languages.

Following this was a performance by the Seongdong-gu Boys and Girls Choir. Seongdong-gu has been a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities since 2016, and carries out a variety of activities to promote lifelong learning in Korea.

A performance by Mr. Ashutosh Chandra Adhikary from the Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul marked the finale of the event. KNCU has been cooperating with the Embassy of Bangladesh in the Republic of Korea on events relating to mother languages since co-hosting an International Forum on Mother Language Day with the Embassy in 2018. Mr. Adhikary sang two Bengali songs, playing a traditional Bangladeshi musical instrument called the ektara.

Mr. Kwang-ho Kim, the Secretary-General of KNCU, emphasized the importance of protecting indigenous languages, saying that they were "a vessel of wisdom and humanity's precious heritage." He expressed his hope that the event would prompt people to think about the importance of languages and cultural diversity.

- Photos

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