The world recognises 21st February as International Mother Language Day. A day to respect, remember and honour our mother language or more specifically mother tongue. I am not much aware of the global scenario but at least in our country, I see a transition towards the English language from Hindi or other regional languages. We seek pride in speaking and listening to English from our kids. If a parent is found speaking in a regional language to their kid, they are looked upon as not-an-educated-so called-high-standard-parent.
I can speak 3 languages fluently without one overshadowing the other in terms of accent. I speak to my kids in our mother tongue and they are being exposed to English and Hindi also. Even though I was advised to speak to my kids in English for their ‘better future’, I was adamant that my kids learn their mother tongue at home because schools and society would help them learn English and Hindi. I don’t think it’s shameful to speak to one’s kids in their mother tongue in public or private. We don’t get downgraded in anyways but the perception made by the society has forced parents to adopt the English language as a primary means of communication.
I’m not against the English language. I’m writing this blog also in the same language which is in no way anything to be proud of. But I am concerned about our kids who are slowly parting ways with their mother tongue and I fear that the generations to come may not even know what their mother tongue was or if we ever had one.
The means to a successful career is correlated with English which is completely a wrong notion. Knowing one language and ignoring the other is not a solution to this problem. Let’s preserve our mother tongue and encourage our kids to learn multiple languages. Children have an amazing ability to learn and unlearn things faster than adults. So no matter which language you want them to learn, they will pick it up at ease.
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