"International Mother Language Day (MLD) is celebrated worldwide, held on 21 February 2018 it is wholehearted commitment to linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Languages express who we are, they structure our thoughts and identities.
Access to the diversity of languages can awaken the curiosity and mutual understanding of peoples. Cultures, ideas, feelings and even aspirations for a better world come to us first and foremost in a specific language, with specific words. Giving value to these languages opens up the range of possible futures, and strengthens the energy needed to achieve them"
- Irina Bokova, UNESCO General Director
At Middlesex University we're lucky enough to be surrounded by an abunance of varied cultures, with most students having the ability to speak more than 1 language.
We want to give you the opportunity celebrate your diversity on Mother Language Day!
Submit a video of yourself reciting the poem below in your mother tongue for our MLD video.
You will be featured alongside other MDX students also proudly speaking out loud in their mother tongue.
The video will be released on 21st February 2018.
Simply fill in a short form and submit your video HERE by Wednesday 7th February 2018.
To find out more about International Mother Language Day go to: www.un.org/en/events/motherlanguageday/
My Mother(‘s) Tongue
by Denisa Vítová
My tongue is my mother’s tongue.
My language is as sharp and thick as hers.
I borrow her words, heat them up
in the furnace of my mouth and turn them
into heart-shaped shards of glass.
My heart is my mother’s heart.
I collect raindrops in buckets and tears
from peeling onion skins in my open hands
while in kitchen my mother makes
sizzling letters on paper.
My hands are my mother’s hands.
Though the geography of her language is cold
every winter those heavy snowfalls
melt on the tip of her tongue, becoming
curse words as we talk blood, fire and men.
My lips are my mother’s lips.
And when I burn her syllables fall out cool as rain.
While she licks off the salt on my cheeks
my own tongue flutters between my teeth
like a wild bird in a cage refusing to leave.
I will always speak in my mother’s tears.
Once I have a daughter I will pass onto her
that old scarred tongue, serve it
on a silver plate with a note
saying: ‘Your language didn’t just grow
from a seed. It’s only here
after all your mothers chewed on the bitter
and the sweet, moulding
their tears into a song.’