The department of Linguistics celebrated the 2016 Mother Language day from February 23-25, 2016. The day is set aside by the United Nations in recognition of the importance of mother tongues. The day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism. International Mother Language Day is observed every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
As the theme reflects: Our Mother tongue our Identity; the University of Nairobi has been hosting and celebrating the mother tongue day every year in a special way in partnership with UNESCO, Bible Translation Literacy (BTL) and KNAT COM. During the celebration several scholars from Department of Linguistics present their papers based on their cultural mother tongues. Their presentations proved that Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All geared to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions
Speaking during the Occasion Prof. Enos Njeru, Principal Collage of Humanities and Social Sciences encouraged people to observe and respect their indigenous cultures especially their mother tongues. He noted that Language gives someone’s Identity and facilitates social, capacity building and training. Prof. Kitheka Wa Mberia Chairman Department of Linguistics noted that every language is a major language and it doesn’t depend from where you originate. He also said that language promote awareness of linguistics and social awareness. Dr. Kinoti from UNESCO noted that without knowing a mother tongue is a Disability. He urged to ensure that our siblings are able to speak on their mother tongue because mother tongue provides opportunity to generate communication and enhance quality of education.
Also present during the event were, Rev Mutungi from Bible Translation Literacy (BTL) and Dr. Kinoti from UNESCO, students, staff and members of the public.