Congratulation by Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan F.Kh. Mukhametshin on the International Mother Language Day
Dear Tatarstanians! I congratulate you on the International Mother Language Day.
To date, according to various estimates, there are more than six thousand “live” languages in the world. However, it is alarming that many of them are threatened with total extinction, since their bearers – representatives of small nationalities – come into contact with a stronger language environment and lose their language skills, lose touch with the culture of their ancestors. In order to attract world attention to this problem, to protect linguistic and cultural diversity, on 17 November 1999, at the 30th session of the UNESCO General Conference, it was decided to establish the International Mother Language Day on 21 February. The UN General Assembly supported this initiative, and since then this memorable date is celebrated in all corners of the globe.
Why is so much attention paid to the problems of preserving and developing native languages? Answering this question, I will quote the words by Director-General of the UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova: “… Languages are the expression of ourselves, our thoughts and our original character. Real dialogue and effective international cooperation would be impossible without respect for linguistic diversity, which provides a genuine understanding of any culture. The accessibility of the variety of languages allows one to induce mutual interest and promote mutual understanding between peoples. It is for this reason that the study of languages is a harbinger of peace, renewal and creation. ” Native language is also the main mechanism for the development of any people, the way and form of perception of the world, the possibility of creative self-expression of the person, the most powerful instrument for preserving the material and spiritual heritage, a genuine storehouse of customs and traditions handed down from generation to generation.
Dear compatriots! The linguistic map of our vast Homeland is surprisingly multifaceted. Each of the peoples of the Russian Federation (and according to the latest census, there are about 190 of them) has its own centuries-old history, has an original culture and language environment. Such a multicolor is our common heritage, an effective means of spiritual mutual enrichment and interethnic cooperation in the name of preserving peace and harmony, further progress along the path of building a truly democratic state. We must respect and do everything possible to promote the development of the linguistic diversity of the Russian people, since separation from paternal culture infringes the national pride of a person, belittles his ethnic self-awareness, destroys values. I think you will agree that without respect for one’s own sources, there can be no intercultural dialogue based on the principles of equivalence, tolerance and mutual understanding.
Today, congratulating you on the International Mother Language Day, I want to wish to further strengthen the mutually respectful commonwealth in the vastness of our multilingual Motherland. Feeling himself a part of his people, be more attentive and tolerant to each other. And let the day of the native language become a holiday of peace, good and friendship!