UNIC Lagos and Nairobi jointly mark International Mother Language Day

DSC 5610.JPGThe UN Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Nigeria, has collaborated with UNIC Nairobi Kenya, to commemorate the 2019 International Mother Language Day

The dialogue, which involved 20 students with 10 distinct mother tongues, emphasised the importance of mother languages to people’s identity, communication, social integration, education and development.

Receiving the students from three secondary schools, Ronald Kayanja, director of UNIC Lagos, noted that the collaboration between UNIC Nigeria and its counterpart in Kenya was to develop greater awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions between the two countries and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

It was so instructive and exciting as the Nigerian students shared their linguistic diversity with the Kenyan team: The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (No Poverty) was said in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages while the Nairobi team provided the Swahili language translation.

In line with the advice of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services which encouraged people around the world to state their favourite proverb in their mother tongue, a few proverbs in local languages were discussed.

Earlier in his remarks, Oluseyi Soremekun, national information officer at UNIC Lagos, noted that the International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

He disclosed, “Every two weeks, a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. At least 43 per cent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world is endangered.”

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