“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1
Language is Gods’ gift to humanity and it is the duty of every citizen to learn and know how to read, write and speak their own mother language because a citizen is incomplete without the proper knowledge of their mother tongue. Language connects every human being and therefore, one should be able to communicate with others of his community through his mother language.
The International Mother Tongue Day is observed on February 21st every year as proclaimed by the UNESCO in November, 1999. International mother language day is meant to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by the peoples of the world.”
Language identifies a nation: A nation is identified by the language they speak. Failure or negligence of citizens to promote their mother language will definitely lose their identity as a nation, including the lost of the knowledge of their origin.
Language promotes love: Language can resolve conflicts and promotes the ideals of brotherhood and builds relationship through mutual understanding and love.
Language builds a nation: Promotion of mother language through academics, litterateur and media can build a strong nation. Citizens become more informed of their surroundings through media, economic awareness and high literacy rate makes a strong nation.
Language as an eye opener: Translation of the Holy Bible into local dialects had been the biggest milestone for Nagas through which our understanding of salvation has become more knowledgeable and understandable.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of learning one’s own mother language.
- Unity of a community and a nation is build upon the knowledge of mother language. Ownership and responsibility towards the community becomes stronger through mother language.
- Citizens’ desire, needs and wants are expressed more meaningfully through mother language.
- Oral customs and traditions are more explicitly preserved through mother language.
- Any society or community can develop and move towards perfection through mother language.
- Researchers have concluded that one minor language is disappearing every 2 weeks which is very alarming. Out of approximately 6000 languages worldwide, 40% are on the verge of extinction.
- Knowledge of mother language begins from birth till death and therefore becomes a very important factor in the personality development of a child.
- Language is used not only for communicating with one another but it is the binding force that unites the thoughts and mind of an individual to express himself for the development of society.
- A society or a nation cannot be united or become a strong nation through use of a foreign language. It is only through mother language that unites members of a society and develops the sense of unity and oneness.
We should henceforth try to promote our mother language as Gods given grace and try to put in our efforts to develop the same so that our identity, our origin, our culture and traditions are well preserved.
I Anungba Sanglir
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