Minot State Students celebrate International Mother Language Day

MINOT, N.D. - The United Nations have celebrated International Mother Language Day, every Feb. 21 since 2000. Now, students at Minot State University got their chance to learn about languages.

Minot State hosted speeches and performances from international students and faculty in their native tongue.

"I’m really excited about it," said graduated performer Araceli Alonso.

This day's history is much older than the 17 years since its first celebration.

"In 1952, Bangladesh was not Bangladesh. It was east Pakistan," said MSU Professor Sayeed Sajal.

The Pakistani government enforced language restrictions on west Pakistan, even though Bangladesh is as far away from Pakistan as Chicago is from the Mexican Border.

"That’s why many students on that day--this day, 21st of February, 1952, people died to protest the language,"

Sajal is from Bangladesh, and said how important language is to him, even as a computer science professor.

"It's very important for me because this origin is from our country, Bangladesh, and we're just promoting how language is a big thing and we want to promote that diversity and inclusiveness," said Sajal.

The spirit for this day of celebration brought many more languages to the Aleshire Theatre.

"I'm going to be dancing a traditional dance from my country, from Paraguay, and I hope you like it," said Alonso.

Alonso let her dancing do the talking on stage, but she said speaking multiple languages has helped her in life.

"My major is I already graduated, but my major was international business and business management," said Alonso.

Many languages have died off throughout history, but here on campus, they're still remembering those who fought for their mother language.

This is just the first event on Minot States campus Wednesday night. They will have a free viewing of Selma, in the Beaver Dam starting at 8 p.m.