International Mother Language Day & World Thinking Day

Feb, 21 marks the International Mother Language Day and Feb, 22 is known for the World Thinking Day. Both came one after another illustrates the fact that speaking in mother-tongue language is closely related to how people think and conveying thought in their own right.

The International Mother Language Day, was proclaimed by the General Conference of UNESCO in November 1999, and has been observed yearly since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The 11th International Mother Language Day, this year, is celebrated in the framework of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. Where as, World Thinking Day is part of the WAGGGS Global Action Theme (GAT) based on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.

Historically, Thinking Day was first created in 1926 at the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference held at Girl Scouts of the USA’s Camp Edith Macy (now called Edith Macy Conference Center). Conference attendees decided that there should be a special day for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world to “think” of each other and give thanks and appreciation to their “sister” Girl Scouts. The delegates chose February 22 as the date for Thinking Day because it was the mutual birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and his wife, Olave, who served as World Chief Guide.

In 1932, at the 7th World Conference, held in Poland, a Belgian delegate suggested that since birthdays usually involve presents, girls could show their appreciation and friendship on Thinking Day not only by extending warm wishes but by offering a voluntary contribution to the World Association. This is how the World Association’s Thinking Day Fund began. The fund helps offer Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting to more girls and young women worldwide. Girl Scouts of the USA, through its Juliette Low World Friendship Fund contributes to the World Thinking Day Fund.

To emphasize the global aspect of Thinking Day, members at the 30th World Conference, held in Ireland in 1999, changed the name from Thinking Day to World Thinking Day. Whatever, the history was, thought should be shared and understood in the wider context. Thought has to be seen more than just a remembrance but a process that shape emotional response and behavior. As such, the way I look at it, world citizens should benefit these two days in succession by appreciating how the mother-tongue language is closely related to original thought and ideas. That would make them more meaningful to the world at large! But I am here not to change the girl guide’s objective regarding the World Thinking Day i.e. to end extreme poverty and hunger as well as to raise awareness about a situation that affects the poor countries.

Whatever it is, Happy Celebrating International Mother Language Day & World Thinking Day.