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This was the first year that Longsight Library celebrated International Mother Language Day. The idea came up through connecting with the Greater Manchester Bangladeshi Association and being introduced to Ferdousi Hoque, who ran the Bangla School. International Mother Language Day is a hugely important part of the Bangladeshi community calendar commemorating the fight for recognition of the Bangla language. The decision to showcase the Bangla Schools children and young people’s cultural in the form of dance, music and poetry was the beginning of what was to become our library’s most favourite yearly activity. It brings together all our communities local to the library in a celebration of cultural heritage. This first celebration was held in the children’s library and was a bit of a squashed affair! All future celebrations have not only grown in activities and participants but have taken over the whole library!
Emma Martin, artist at Stanley Grove Primary Academy, provided 2 beautiful book display and sculptures made by the school’s pupils that incorporated first languages. They also provided an activity based on these sculptures. Manchester Museum chatted with participants and customers about the creation of its new South Asian Gallery as well as providing activities. The library had a larger than life Kotha & Kantha exhibition on display. MAES students ran a delightful story dice activity introducing children to Bengali calligraphy and the local children’s centre coloured in beautiful mandalas with participants.
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