How we communicate can speak volumes about us

Bangladesh and its language movement is a unique event in world history.

Where people raised their collective voice for the right to use their mother tongue in all spheres of life.

Brave souls laid down their lives to ensure the rights we enjoy today.

Which was the beginning of self-determination, and ultimately.

Sovereignty having a map etched out and a flag design of our own.

We owe it to our leaders, subsequently, who have taken our urges and sentiments to a level.

Where the unforgettable day has been recognized as International Mother Language Day.

This definitely has raised our image as a nation to enviable heights.

Languages are kept vibrant through literature, music, dramas, cinema, and everything else.

Which is part of a culture reaching out to its own people and transcending borders to the global arena.

We have a sizable population speaking Bangla (228 million native speakers, the fifth largest).

We made progress in various spheres so far the use of our national language is concerned.

We commend the government and the authorities for popularizing the use of Bangla in various fields.

As a matter of routine, we pay our deepest respect to our martyrs for their sacrifice and organize a host.

Activities countrywide to commemorate various events including our very special Ekushey Boi Mela.

How about things that we can and need to do at individual, family, and social levels?

Are we all conscious enough and doing whatever we need and can do in this regard.

Invitation cards on social occasions, especially weddings, are a case in point.

It seems rather trendy these days to have wedding cards in English.

The other day I received a card from a retired army sergeant inviting me to his daughter’s wedding.

His daughter is a doctor and his sons are university graduates.

I wonder what makes us print the cards in English and not in Bangla?

It is something very much in vogue, now that most wedding cards are done in English.

I have seen families who hardly use English in their day-to-day conversation, who are printing their cards in English.

I have also come across a lot of funny mistakes in such cards which simply speak of their lack.

People continue exercising the privilege of using a foreign language they hardly are familiar with. 

There was a time when the Persian language used to be regarded as a symbol of aristocracy.

That was the language of the ruling elite and those who used to associate with them.

Later this was taken over by the English during their long colonial rule of the British.

Gone are those days. Yes, of course, we need proficiency in English to communicate with the world.

In the present day world, even closed societies like China have opened up to English.

In many societies, it is rather common to have proficiency in two or more languages other than one’s mother tongue.

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