On February 21st, the Gasprinskiy Library held an event marking International Mother Language Day. The International Mother Language Day was established by the General Conference of UNESCO in November 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and has been observed internationally every year since February 2000. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.
“Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage.” (UN announcement of International Mother Language Day 2012)
The Crimean Tatars know this only too well. The state of their language is considered the most pressing problem facing Crimean Tatars today. It is estimated that only 5% of Crimean Tatar children speak their mother tongue and Crimean Tatar is now listed in the UNESCO Red Book of Disappearing Languages as “severely threatened.”
One of the main missions of the Gasprinskiy Library is the preservation and revitalization of the Crimean Tatar language. In recognition of the importance of the International Mother Language Day, the library organized a large event held in the Reading Hall of the library. Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Education, the Crimean Tatar Writers’ Union, and the Association of Crimean Tatar Educators, the event drew over fifty people from many different areas of Crimean Tatar life. There was a roundtable discussion of the book exhibition “Language—the Greatest Wealth of the People,” and representatives from the media, League of Crimean Tatar Women, Crimean Tatar youth organizations, and directors of the Crimean Tatar national schools talked about the specific work they are doing to preserve and revive the language and their plans for the future. Throughout the event, the audience was entertained by music from old and young Crimean Tatar performers.
Director of the Gasprinskiy Library, Gulnara Yagyaeva, along with Crimean Tatar writer Riza Fazel and Crimea Rada Deputy Cafure Kadzhametova, open the event.
Leilya Kaderova, Deputy Director of the Gasprinskiy Library, gives an overview of the book exhibition "Language--the Greatest Wealth of a People".
Shevket Eunucov, Director of the Department of Crimean Tatar Literature at Tavrida National University in Simferopol
Rada Deputy Cafure Kadzhametova introduces the Russian-Tatar Thematic Dictionary.
Safinar Jemileva, President of the Crimean Tatar Women's Association.
Server Bekirov, journalist.
Rustem Memetov, Crimean Tatar artist and singer.