The Mexican government and the Bangladesh Embassy in Mexico have unveiled a permanent replica of the Shaheed Minar at the Sor Juana Museum in the Nepantla state of Mexico.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Mexico Abida Islam and local dignitaries such as Secretary of Culture EdoMex Nelly Minerva Carrasco Godinez, Coordinator of International Affairs of EdoMex Pablo Montemayor Camacho, and Mayor of Nepantla Abelardo Rodriguez Garcia attended the inaugural ceremony on Nov 9. Edomex is the local administration of the State of Mexico, one of 32 states in the country.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a floral wreath was placed at the monument in homage to the language martyrs whose sacrifice helped secure Bangla as a state language during the 1952 Language Movement.
The memorial included a plaque with a QR code that offered visitors additional information about the movement and Feb 21, International Mother Language Day.
A video on the historical context and impact of the movement was screened at the Sor Juana Museum's auditorium. Students aged 9 to 11 also performed various pieces related to the Language Movement during a cultural presentation. The ceremony also included sharing traditional Bangladeshi cuisine.
Ambassador Abida Islam expressed her profound gratitude to the Mexican Ministry of Culture, both at the central and local levels, Deputy Jose Miguel de la Cruz Lima, and the Bangladeshi expatriate community in Mexico for their invaluable support in acquiring the land and constructing the replica.
She underscored the importance of erecting the martyr's monument at the birthplace of Mexican icon Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th-century scholar of Spanish literature who utilised language as a means to advocate for women's rights.
During their speeches, Cultural Secretary Minerva, Mayor of Nepantla Garcia, Deputy Lima, and Deputy Flores paid heartfelt tributes to the courageous language martyrs.
They commended the Bangladesh embassy's efforts to educate future generations about the Language Movement of Bangladesh and International Mother Language Day and emphasised the global significance of preserving one's mother tongue for the sake of human identity, expression, and empowerment.
They also affirmed their unwavering commitment to safeguarding Mexico's rich diversity of 67 indigenous languages and voiced optimism that this replica would serve as a catalyst for cultural exchange and foster connections among the younger generations of both countries.