International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day commemorates the death of college students Abdus Salam, Abul Barkat, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Abdul Jabbar, and Shafiur Rahman at the hands of Pakistani troops on February 21st, 1952 while peacefully protesting the right to speak the Bengali language. The nation of Bangladesh instituted Language Movement Day every year on February 21st in commemoration of the Bengali language movement and its martyrs. The holiday was adopted by UNESCO in 1999 as an international observation promoting awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Today it is observed all over the world as a day to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity.

Since 2019, the Museum has collaborated with Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative (BAWDI) to commemorate and celebrate International Mother Language Day. The celebrations usually include an exhibition at the Museum, as well as associated events. However, with the onset of the Pandemic, the collaboration in the past few years has been virtual. 

To learn more about Mother Language Day at the Museum, check out some of these links:

Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative & Paterson Museum Present: Mother Language Art Exhibit Reception & Panel, 2019

Bangladeshi Culture and Art Exhibit Now on Display at Paterson Museum, by Steve Lenox,  February18, 2019 

Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative 2nd Annual Bangladeshi Art & Fashion Show at the Paterson Museum, 2020

With New Display at Paterson Museum Bangladeshi Community Celebrates ‘Parade of Pageantry,’ by Steve Lenox, March 1, 2020

Bangladesh Exhibition Program 2020

Video recording of the 4th Annual Mother Language Day Celebration (presented virtually), 2022 

Learn more about BAWDI at: