Thai-Bangladeshis commemorate International Mother Language Day in Pattaya

Thai-Bangladeshi community commemorates International Mother Tongue Day, photo by The Pattaya News.

Thai-Bangladeshis gathered on Wednesday to commemorate International Mother Language Day in Pattaya. The community commemorated the day at the Unique Regency Hotel on Pratumnak Soi 5.

Dozens of residents, esteemed guests, and other members of the Pattaya Thai-Bangladeshi Community attended the event.

International Mother Language Day is globally observed and formally recognised by the United Nations. The day aims to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world, according to UNESCO. It is especially significant to the Bangladeshi people as the day was their initiative.

The people of Bangladesh fought to have their language recognised in the late 1940s and early 1950s in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). This resulted in an incident in 1952 in which the then Pakistani government, which wanted to make Urdu the only national language, shot at protesters and rallies protesting the decision to not make Bengali a state language. Five people were killed, and hundreds were injured. After years of protests, rallies, and activism, the Bengali language was finally made the state language of Pakistan in 1956.

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Since then, Bangladeshis in particular have commemorated the day with ceremonies and observations to celebrate their language and remember those who fought for their mother tongue. However, the day highlights all languages’ importance and the significance of preserving one’s native mother tongue.

The Pattaya Thai-Bangladeshi Community celebrated the day with a range of activities, including speeches from various speakers in English, Bengali, and Thai, The Pattaya News reported. The event also included several ceremonies, music, cultural activities, and a delicious dinner prepared by the Thai Bangladeshi Community in Pattaya.

In 2021, Wikipedia reported 13 million Bangladeshis living outside of Bangladesh. The largest number, 2.5 million, live in Saudi Arabia, and approximately one million live in the United Arab Emirates. Another 1 million live in Malaysia, and 900,000 live in the UK. Many other Bangladeshis live in several Middle Eastern countries, as well as a few Asian countries including Japan and South Korea.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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