The International Mother Language Day, also known as National Martyrs Day, was observed in Beijing, China on Sunday.
In observance of the day in a befitting manner, the Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing held an array of programmes following the local Covid-19 protocol.
This year the day bears special significance for Bangladesh as she celebrates the golden jubilee of her independence and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibur Rahman, who led the national movement for justice that ultimately culminated in the independence of the country in 1971.
The Beijing Mission installed a Shaheed Minar in the newly instituted Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall of the embassy.
The ambassador, the embassy staff, representatives from diplomatic missions and the Chinese government, businessmen and investors from China, and Bangladesh community members laid floral wreath at the Shaheed Minar.
In the morning session, a procession led by the Ambassador chanting the historic song “Amar Bhaier Rakte Rangano Ekushey February, Ami ki Bholite pari” laid floral wreath at the Altar of Shaheed Minar.
The Shaheed Minar and the procession are a source of emotion for the people of Bangladesh. Finding this first time in Beijing, the Bangladesh community living here became highly emotional; some of them were even shedding tears while they were proceeding and laying the flowers on its altar.
The programme of the Day followed other events like flying the Flag at the half-mast, one-minute silence for the salvation of the departed souls of the Martyrs, laying floral wreath at the portrait of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, reading out of the messages from the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and State Minister for Foreign Affairs, and a cultural event in the evening followed by dinner, and discussion on the Day.
The cultural programme was colorful and elaborate, performed mostly by the Embassy officers and family members, all of whom were wearing traditional dresses associated with the Day.
Participating in the discussion Session, the Bangladesh Community members expressed their emotional attachment with the Day and reminisced how they attended the event in their early life.
In the concluding speech, Ambassador Mahbub Uz Zaman said that the question of recognition and dignity of the Bengali language is the root from where Bangladesh’s national identity movement emerged, flourished through and culminated in nationhood.
He noted that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was at the core of this movement. He was the architect of the protest on 21 February 1952 and subsequent national movements for justice.
During his historic visit to China in 1952 and 1957, Bangabandhu opted to speak in Bengali, and during his first speech in the United Nations in 1974, as the Prime Minister of independent Bangladesh, he spoke in Bangla, providing the guiding leadership for the successive generations, he added.
The Ambassador gave a detailed account of the origin of the Bangla language, the secular nature of the people of then Bengal, which is reflected in the medieval Bengali literature, the treasure of the language enriched by the contribution of brilliant poets and writers.
He recalled that the attempt to suppress the innate spirit of the literature since 1948 united the pundits, writers and people of the country to stand against it for righteous recognition of the language; they finally won with the independence of the country.
Ambassador Mahbub concluded the discussion by thanking everyone, especially the diplomats and journalists, for attending the programme.