International Mother Language Day: Sign for Belarusian! (livestream)

International Mother Language Day aims to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural and multilingualism. It is observed on February 21 to recognize the 1952 Bengali Language Movement in Bangladesh.

The day was proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in November 1999. Belarus was among the first 25 supporters and contributors to the corresponding resolution.

Fast facts about Belarusian language (ENG subtitles)

The Belarusian language started to be pushed out of all spheres of public life after the 1996 referendum, which gave the status of the co-official language to Russian. Soviet influence and heritage resulted in our nation’s neglecting its origin, history and culture. Although about 53% of population of the country called Belarusian native, many compatriots shy away from its daily usage due to thought-to-be poor knowledge and the domination of the so-called big brother’s tongue.

Today Belarusian activists are holding #Mova2018 action in Minsk and other cities and towns: they are collecting signatures for the Belarusian language of instruction.

“Soon our Motherland will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the restoration of independence! Let’s dedicate February 21 to the Belarusian language and collect signatures for the Belarusization of our education sphere and in particular, establishing the first Belarusian-language National University,” Zmitser Dashkevich, a politician and former political prisoner, said.

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