International Mother Language Day 2019

On the 21st of February 1999, UNESCO proclaimed the International Mother Language Day, which is a part of the cultural identity of the people, a point of recognition, diversity, but also of tolerance and understanding. Caring for Mother Language is a way of proving awareness of one’s own identity, but also a very sensitive place of tolerance to the other and different.

On 21st February, Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) has delivered an interactive German-Language workshop, which was held in the Gymnasium “Vaso Pelagić” in Brčko District, with students of the fourth grade.

Workshop coordinator Florian Pauleck, who is an international volunteer from Germany, has pointed to the problem of everyday racism, intolerance and gender discrimination in language.

In Brčko District’s Youth Centre Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) held two more workshops for children of the age 4-7 and 8-13. To make the taught concepts more understandable, the workshops were methodically adapted to their age. The youngest participants practiced nonverbal communication to illustrate the importance of language as a vision of interpersonal understanding. They were given the opportunity to learn and hear the languages spoken by Svitac’s (Firefly Bosnia’s) international volunteers, including listening to the song “Hello around the world”.

At the workshop for children from the age 8-13 we talked about one individual’s importance of their mother tongue and the historic national treasures that emerged through language, such as idioms, jokes and literature. In the frame of this workshop the participants summarised their conclusions on a poster.