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“Language is a road map of culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going” – Rita Mae Brown
Biblionef South Africa, a book donation organisation, will be hosting a three-day long language celebration from Monday 22nd Feb 2016 to Wednesday 24th Feb 2016 at their office in Pinelands. This will be in celebration of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations (UNESCO) International Mother Language Day.
The International Mother Language Day was first announced by UNESCO on the 17th of November 1999. This day commemorates the incident in 1952 in which students from different educational institutions demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of present-day Bangladesh. Observed each year on February 21st all over the world, International Mother Language Day has the distinct purpose of conserving, protecting and encouraging the incredible linguistic diversity that we humans have.
Biblionef’s Executive Director, Jean Williams, expressed her thoughts about this important day, saying that; “We at Biblionef pride ourselves on being able to give each child a book in his/her local language, as we know the important role it plays in their culture and education. This Mother Language Day celebration is an ideal opportunity to showcase, not only Biblionef’s efforts in ensuring more children’s books are produced in our African Languages, but also, the crucial role one’s mother tongue plays in our culture and heritage.”
Planned Events for the Three Days
Day 1 (22/02/16 @ 17h00): The focus will be on Biblionef’s contribution in commissioning the publication and reprinting of storybooks in South Africa’s indigenous languages. This session will be opened by Biblionef’s Patron and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town; Professor Ndebele. Prof. Ndebele expressed his thoughts on the work done by Biblionef by saying that, “children represent the future of countries. Training tomorrow’s adults and teaching them to appreciate reading is to preserve them from a hollow existence by increasing their choices in life, thus securing a solid foundation for their future countries. This is the challenge behind Biblionef’s existence: fighting ignorance and illiteracy and developing a love of reading among children.”
Day 2 (23/02/16 @15h00): Fun, fun, fun! That is how Biblionef would like to sum up this day. The public is welcome to join them as they celebrate our diversities and the various languages and cultures that exist in South Africa through storytelling, song, food and dance! Selected individuals will speak about their culture and the important role language plays in it. The Consulate General of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Cape Town – Binnie Horbach, will Biblionef on this day and will share her insights on the importance of preserving ones mother tongue.
Day 3 (24/02/16 @ 10h30): Biblionef will be Launching two books written by acclaimed author; Gcina Mhlophe. The books, entitled; “Our Story Magic” and “Stories of Africa” have both been translated and printed in all 11 South African languages with funds sourced by Biblionef. In line with “World Read Aloud Day” (annually celebrated on 23 February), Ms. Mhlophe will be reading from her stories to a number of Cape Town Librarians and children from Thandokhulu High School in Mowbray, Cape Town. This will be followed by a Storytelling Session by Gcina at Kensington High School @ 13h00.
For more information about this three-day long celebration please contact the Biblionef office on 021 531 0447 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.