Thousands of people, barefoot and singing, paid homage to the Language Movement martyrs in Dhaka just after midnight.
President Iajuddin Ahmed led the nation in paying tributes by placing a wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar, the venue for centrepiece February 21 observance, at 12:01am today, followed by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, who paused in solemn silence.
Other officials and foreign envoys also paid their respect. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and LDP President Badruddoza Chowdhury laid wreath at the Shaheed Minar, followed by hundreds of others streaming in to mark the great event.
Following Unesco's November 17, 1999 declaration of February 21 as the International Mother Language Day, 188 countries across the globe observe the day to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education and raise awareness of cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
Zahurul Alam has the details.