The Canadian House of Commons has passed a Bill on the International Mother Language Day Act on Mar 30 and will officially honour Feb 21 every year.
The move marks a "historic moment" for Bangladeshi-Canadians and the proponents of mother tongues globally, Bangladesh High Commission in Canada said in a statement on Thursday.
"We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the late Rafiqul Islam, Abdus Salam and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for getting the International Mother Language Day adopted by UNESCO in 1999 and later by the UN," the high commission said in its statement.
Khalilur Rahman, the Bangladesh high commissioner in Canada, was present at the House of Commons during the discussion and passing of the Bill. Ken Hardie MP, who introduced the Bill to the house also recognised the presence of the high commissioner in the House of Commons.
Senator Mobina S Jaffer, who led the passing of the Bill earlier by the Canadian Senate, was also present in the House of Commons.
“We acknowledge the initiative and contribution of the Mother Language Lovers of the World Society and its President Mr Aminul Islam persisted with Bill S-214 with the MPs and senators for almost a decade,” the high commission said.
Khalilur has been working closely with the Canadian senators and MPs in coordination and collaboration with Aminul Islam to get the bill passed for the last two years.
Adoption of the Bill highlights Canada’s commitment to "linguistic diversity and cultural heritage", the statement added
The Bill recognised that language is an essential aspect of one’s identity and cultural heritage, and linguistic diversity should be "celebrated, promoted, and preserved".