In celebration of UN International Mother Language Day, an open air event was recently organized in DuPont Circle in DC, featuring colorful performances from around the world.
The event was jointly organized by the Embassy of Bangladesh and Drishtipat DC. Despite the inclement weather, a sizeable crowd gathered to enjoy the lively performances, which included American bluegrass, an umbrella dance from Indonesia, Bangladeshi folk songs, Andean music, an Egyptian Sufi dance and more. The event was intended to celebrate the 7,000 languages of the world and the cultures they embody.
Ambassador Humayun Kabir from Bangladesh delivered the opening remarks. Other featured speakers included Judith Terra, Washington DC Commissioner for Arts and Humanities, and Virginia Williams, mother of ex-Mayor Anthony Williams. The speakers recognized the need to preserve linguistic diversity and protect languages that are on the verge of extinction. Recognizing that genuine multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding, the UN proclaimed 2008 the International Year of Languages.