21 February holiday bill reintroduced in US House of Representatives
Noman Sabit: US Congresswoman Grace Meng has reintroduced a bill in the US House of Representatives to declare International Mother Language Day on February 21 as a holiday in the United States. Democrat Congresswoman Grace Meng represents New York’s 6th Congressional District.She reintroduced legislation this afternoon to promote the holiday in the United States, a holiday that holds special significance to Bangladesh and those of Bangladeshi descent.
Meng’s measure, a congressional resolution, calls on the House of Representatives to support the goals and ideals of International Mother Language Day. It also encourages the people of the United States to mark the annual observance with appropriate ceremonies, programs and activities.
International Mother Language Day was first recognized in November of 1999 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to increase awareness of linguistic diversity and multilingualism. It is celebrated every year on February 21 to commemorate the 1952 demonstration where students in Bangladesh were killed because of their desire to adopt Bengali as a national language of Pakistan. Dhaka, now the Capital of Bangladesh, had been controlled by Pakistan at the time.
“International Mother Language Day means so much to Bangladesh and those of Bangladeshi descent,” said Congresswoman Meng. “I am proud to reintroduce this resolution to shine a light on its importance, and I look forward to once again shepherding it through the House of Representatives. It is an honor to represent such a vibrant Bangladeshi American community, and I send my warmest wishes to all who celebrate here in Queens and around the world.”