International Language Day
Held on the 18 February 2017, in the Brighton Open Market; the day was a celebration of the diversity of language and culture in our city.
Funded by the National Lottery Big Lottery fund, several months of planning went into the day, and initially we'd been a bit concerned that, it being February, the weather may have been against us. However, from early in the day people arrived in good numbers, got involved in dancing and singing along; support for all the bands was excellent, musical performances were in 9 languages, representing some of the diversity of language and culture in the city, it was nice to see so much positive support for all of the artists and cultural backgrounds represented.
The event was officially opened by Councillor Pete West, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, who took the time to chat with people and enjoy the music.
Judging by the feedback from people who had come specially for the event, and regular stall holders in the market, everyone seemed to enjoy the occasion.
The event is part of a worldwide annual observance called International Mother Language Day, held on February 21, that promotes awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, first announced by UNESCO in 1999, and formally recognised by the UN in 2008.
The origins of the day go back to 1952, when students in Bengal demonstrated to have Bengali recognised as an official language. The UN resolution to recognise the day, was originally put forward by Rafiqul Islam,a Bengali living in Vancouver, who wanted to take action to preserve the languages of the World.
It would not have been possible to organise this festival without the valuable input and support of the organisations and community groups who contributed to the day and added to the atmosphere.
A big Thank you!
The BMECP Centre
Bahai Faith Community Group
Brighton Czech & Slovak Community Group
Sanctuary on Sea
Sussex Kurdish Community
Sussex Indian Society
Sussex Interpreting Services
Sussex Syrian Community
Tantrum Community Dance Group
The Mayor of Brighton and Hove; Councillor Pete West
All the staff and traders at the Brighton Open Market for hosting the event.
All the musicians, performers and speakers
The volunteers, staff, all our friends, family and the people of Brighton for making a special day together.
Thanks Richard Michalec from Brighton and Hove Czech & Slovak Community group for the above documentary; lots of great interviews with everyone involved. See more of their work here