There has been a special thing about elders around me. Since childhood, I have seen them with a magical faculty. This power of their intellect seems to be so natural to them. What it is? What makes them special and how we all can try walking the same 'less-travelled' paths now!
This is the International Mother Language Day. On this day, the world returns to its originality and the native identities. Of course, marking a day isn't sufficient to rejuvenate or celebrate something that is related to civilization. Yet, It is worth having a day to bring all people together, see them talking of an idea, a feeling of love and pride, and vibes to 'do something' to make that thing live more, become more powerful.
This 21 February is the International Mother Language Day. The reason for getting reminded of the subtle and special skill of the elders, all around, is their capacity to Identify a Person's Demography by listening to the language and accent. Isn't it special to think that someone utters a few sentences and you are able to pick the cultural and linguistic region and tell (rather than asking) - you are from...... And they say yes and the conversation moves ahead. This seemed a small thing to me at that age. but now, when I see there are these many languages around me and languages look like the very first things humans possess as their identity - I consider 'languages vital to the existence.
Before we move ahead, let's determine the future for us. We must safeguard the linguistic diversity of the world and enrich it with an inclusive education which makes World peace a default outcome. Knowing your own culture, language and history should lead to a mature understanding of the same trio for the whole world. You safeguard your own genuineness and you ensure that the language and culture of the other are also safeguarded. One more takeaway from the Mother language is 'Peace'. You know it how peace shall prevail once we understand the essence of such 'humane days'.
This is more true about the dialects that have represented us all. Basically, we are all from villages. The clichéd but true judgment is that we are all rustic, rural, and simple fundamentally. At a time when we, like billions, have relocated and settled to new places, cities that might not have anyone speaking like us, celebrating like us, or even eating and dressing like us. The identity crisis makes us stick to some of our own ways of living. We start (either in our own practice or in some other's life) supporting our own cultural identity- this is known as ethnicity.
And, you know, being conscious, attached, and devoted to one's own 'cultural lineage, isn't a thing to fear from. Rather it makes us less destructive to the world. We see ourselves not as isolated individuals but as someone who has a connection to the centuries of legacy. The moment this weight comes, we turn accountable and are left to discipline ourselves. That is a positive perspective.
On this Mother Language Day, I wish that I speak not of how many languages are spoken in the world or how many are under threat. I do not even want to bring something that speaks of events organized or policies announced. We can skip looking at the news of celebrations or even the trending hashtags. In place of this, we can just sit with our own family members or make a virtual call to them. Then we speak our native language, the one that we have known as the first language to express all feelings and emotions. Of course, this is done almost every day when you talk to them. But today, make it special by telling them that it is a day of the Language that has kept the identity alive; that has kept you connected to the roots, and that has made it possible to go anywhere in the world but with your own family legacy.
For some reasons that remain unexplained, I love to talk and write about how man moved from caves to civilized life. It brings goosebumps as to how the institution of family and society came. How languages came and how all languages have remained inter-connected to each other- by exchanging words and meanings. What fascinates me more is that we humans can learn any language in the same way we learned our first one. There is nothing political or community-confined about languages. Each Language belongs to me and I must learn to behave well with it whenever I am at a place to participate.
On this Mother Language Day, I want to hail those brave and compassionate souls who have moved to metro-cities and still have an Unending Love and Unquestionable Reverence for their language. And when they speak their own, at a place filled with those who do not speak or understand it, that moment is bliss. Forget about the 'communication process failed' formula here. It is something else when someone is happy and expresses it in the very language which was used the first time to expose happiness. Like, we do not know any other medium to express truthfully than our own language.
One who loves and feels for his own language shall always-always-always respect the mother language of the other. It is exactly the same with our respect for our own mother and the lady who is a mother to someone else. I am not good to mine; I shall surely fail to do good with the other as well. The world cannot become a village or a small place by the technologies or the upcoming AI or other realities. The connection through languages shall give us this feeling, a firm assurance that now languages are acknowledged as the vehicles of peace and connection. The best and first thing to do is to bring children to languages. Starting from the 'family' language, they should learn as many languages as they can. In the future, where they will exit, the demand is for intellect and collaboration. Language teaches these two with utmost perfection.
On this World Language Day, we can all see the friends we have earned. If you have more than 10 Friends speaking 10 different languages, this is the time to pat-your-back. You are a Champ! You know these many cultures, ethnicities, and worlds in themselves. Your respect and readiness to stay in these relationships shall make your world a better place to live, not leave. Hence, wish them all a Happy Mother Language Day and learn a few sentences in their languages (from them). Tell them how you say 'Thank You' in your language and get to know theirs.
What matters ultimately is not the designation or money you ended with, it will be whether you took your identity to others and brought a serene, blissful, and humane amalgamation of the languages.
If you do so-
You are the SuperStar!
Read More: Diary of a Teacher who Teaches English & The Age of Social Distancing