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A celebration of linguistic diversity
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 17 Février 2011

Council unanimously adopted a motion at its last meeting to salute the importance for the Bangladeshi community of Feb. 21, which has been proclaimed International Mother Language Day by UNESCO, an agency of the United Nations.

Marvin Rotrand noted that Bengali is the sixth most-spoken language in the world and that a sizable number of people from that country, formerly known as East Pakistan before the civil war ended in 1971, now call Montreal home, with large communities in CDN-NDG and in Park Extension. There are even books in Bengali in the borough’s community library at 6767 Côte-des-Neiges Rd.

Two Bangladeshi residents addressed council to speak in favour of the motion. They also requested that the borough investigate the possibility of installing a symbolic monument, preferably in Kent Park, to commemorate the importance of preserving and honouring the mother tongues of the many diverse communities in the borough.

Rotrand underlined the importance of linguistic diversity in a borough that boasts over a hundred different ethnic groups and languages. He mentioned that, while there is already one monument in a local park that recognizes an individual of particular importance to the Filipino community, it is a long process to launch such a project, given the many levels of government that need to be on board. The monument in question was donated by the Filipino government in a deal that included the government of Canada, the embassy of the Phillippines and the Centre City. Rotrand promised to work with the relevant authorities and get back to the Bangladeshi community.

“Immigration keeps our community vibrant, with people from all over the place, from Bangladesh, from the Philippines, from India, from Chile, from Vietnam, from North Africa, from Russia, from Moldavia, from the Saguenay, and this enriches the daily life of all of our residents.”

Members of the Bangladeshi community will be holding an event February 21st to celebrate International Mother Language Day, near Vezina and Victoria at 6767 Côte-des-Neiges Rd.

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