Manchester Celebrates International Mother Language Day 2024

6 February 2024 - News

International Mother Language Day, which takes place on 21st February each year, is an internationally recognised UNESCO designated day.

Manchester City of Literature leads the, now 53, UNESCO Cities of Literature for International Mother Language Day in February each year, to mark the fact that around 200 languages are spoken in Manchester at any one time. IMLD celebrates the importance of Mother Languages to promote unity in diversity and international understanding through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

There are over 20 events to take part in, plus we’re welcoming new local partners to the International Mother Language Day Celebrations for 2024 including Alliance Française, The Whitworth Museum and Art Gallery and more.

Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council Cllr. Luthfur Rahman says, “This year the events taking place in Manchester showcase a huge variety of languages in libraries, museums, language centres, galleries and a variety of community spaces too, allowing people in Manchester to engage with languages all over the world. We have a number of new organisations to the IMLD programme for 2024, which shows Manchester’s ongoing commitment to language diversity and multiculturalism.”

Most of these events are free to take part in and are suitable for families, particularly as many of them are taking place during February half term. For families we’d highly recommend the Multilingual Open Mic at Manchester Poetry Library, Looking for Languages Trail from Creative Manchester at Manchester Museum and the Multilingual Storytimes at Insituto Cervantes and Alliance Française.

A new exhibition ‘Threads’ will launch on 12th February featuring multilingual writing and material from 10 UNESCO Cities of Literature to celebrate. Textiles, including camouflage nets from Odesa, Ukraine will be on display alongside traditional dress from Granada, Spain and artwork from the likes of Wrocław, Melbourne and Reykjavík, too. Local Manchester writers Keisha Thompson and Hafsah Aneela Bashir have contributed new original writing to the exhibition, which you can view in the Histories Hub at Manchester Central Library until 23rd March.

To find out more about the events mentioned above and how Manchester is celebrating International Mother Language Day this year please visit the event webpages below.