DCAS Celebrates International Mother Language Day
21 February 2014
A joyous celebration of Afrikaans and isiXhosa storytelling, reading and poetry marked International Mother Language Day at Iziko Museum on 19 February 2014. The event was a partnership between the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), XhosAfrika Network, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), Iziko Museums and the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa at the University of Cape Town (PRAESA).
Learners and senior citizens from Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Delft enjoyed the opportunity to embrace their mother tongues through stories, book readings and poetry performances. Sindiwe Magona, renowned storyteller and author of African Folk Tales, facilitated the event. Learners from Chumisa Primary School, Isiphiwo Primary School, Eindhoven Primary School and Vergenoegd Primary School were in attendance. Seniors from the Noluthando Senior Club, Nombasa Senior Club and the Masakhane Senior Centre were among the most enthusiastic participants.
International Mother Language Day is celebrated across the world on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. From 18 to 22 February this year, a variety of events are taking place to celebrate South Africa’s rich linguistic heritage and the progress made over 20 years of democracy.
Jane Moleleki of DCAS encouraged people to learn other languages, especially the three official languages of the Western Cape – Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa. “We at the department recognise the value of promoting mother languages; this is a tool for the building of social inclusion through respect for language and cultural diversity,” she said.