26 February, 2024

Northbridge celebrates cultural diversity and multilingualism at International Mother Language Day

Northbridge celebrates cultural diversity and multilingualism at International Mother Language Day-Northbridge celebrates cultural diversity and multilingualism at International Mother Language Day-IMG_4134
Northbridge celebrates cultural diversity and multilingualism at International Mother Language Day

By Yewon Heo
Primary Languages Leader

Held every year on 21 February, International Mother Language Day is observed worldwide - including here at Northbridge International School Cambodia - to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The theme for this year is “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning.”

A United Nations statement said, “Multilingual and multicultural societies thrive through the preservation of their languages, which serve as conduits for traditional knowledge and cultural heritage.”

Last Wednesday, we held the International Mother Language Day Assembly to recognize and celebrate all the different languages we have here at NISC. During Assembly, students showcased the importance of preserving different mother tongues, and wonderfully put together performances related to their cultural heritage languages- a true testament to the school’s emphasis on international-mindedness.

We watched with pride as a group of Korean students reenacted a traditional folktale in their native language. Chinese poetry recitation flowed eloquently from a group of young poets. A choir of Khmer-speaking children sang a celebratory song of their culture. French language learning students also featured through a song and dance.

The students were clearly proud of their individual backgrounds while appreciating each other’s diverse performances. Even for students whose mother tongue was different, they showed interest and respect for their peer’s languages and cultures. This fostered understanding and appreciation for linguistic diversity. 

By nurturing development of various mother tongues, Northbridge aims to empower students’ cultural identities and help them develop cognitively. Events like this Mother Tongue Day Assembly embed important lessons of open-mindedness from a young age. It was wonderful seeing how our students honored their heritage language and learned from one another.