Mother Language Is Important Everyday, Not Just One Day In The Year

Day 96/100
Many years back when my son was a toddler and learning to speak, a close relative happened to visit us. When she heard my son speak in our mother language, she ridiculed him and took me to task for not training him to speak in English. I felt strange! “Is she crazy?” I thought? But I now realise that many people in our country and across the world ditch the mother language to English. Because, to speak in English is what communication is all about. You need to master the queen’s language to prevail in your social circles. Otherwise, you’ll be sidelined and end up being a subject of ridicule.

It’s International Mother language day today and while I write this, I wish we treated our mother languages with more respect. We live at a time when you are considered of a high standard only if you speak English. Well, not just English, good English with perfect pronounciation just like the natives. For a minute, close your eyes and think of all the people you have made fun of in the past just because his/her English was either incorrect or was heavily accented with his/her regional language. It could be your friend, your sibling, your spouse and why even your mother!! And besides, a student who is not educated from an English medium school is not considered worthy of anything. If this is our collective mindset, then why are we bragging so much about international mother language day? Why this hypocrisy? Celebrating it one day and the looking down upon it the very next? The truth is, today we are driven by needs that are not ours alone. We do things because everyone is doing it and we don’t want to be left behind. We want to belong, we want to trend.

So happy mother language day, folks…hope we understand that languages are meant for communication and not for looking down upon people.Hope we begin respecting people for their knowledge and skills and not belittle them because they are unable to express themselves in the language we want them to. Every language is rich with history and steeped in culture. Let’s bring that to mind before we look down upon any of the languages or people who speak those languages.