The Mother Language Day, which will be celebrated on February 21, is "a holiday that we would not like to celebrate, because the Belarusian language should be heard every day and feel the need for protection and care less and less," she said at a press conference in Natalya Shapran, the editor-in-chief of the state magazine "Rodnae slova" in Minsk.

According to her, the Belarusian language "should feel as liberated and relaxed as possible."

Shapran called on "every state institution" that is related to the topic of culture and language, as well as "every means of mass information" to "create an environment for the dominance of the Belarusian language."

The participants of the press conference reported on the published and planned works of the classics of Belarusian literature, who were called "geniuses of the artistic word".

Director of Yanka Kupala Institute of Literary Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Ivan Saverchenko, noted that a book of military prose by "our unique writer" Vasyl Bykov was published on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from the German-fascist invaders.

The editor-in-chief of the magazine "Polyma" Viktar Shnip informed about the publication of Uladzimir Karatkevich's diaries and announced the publication of his previously "unknown" story.

  • The development of the Belarusian language has been the prerogative of public initiatives and organizations for decades. After the falsified presidential elections of 2020, the regime in Belarus launched a large-scale repression, as a result of which many organizations and initiatives that developed Belarusian culture were eliminated, including the Union of Belarusian Writers, the Belarusian PEN-Center, the "Society of the Belarusian Language named after Franziska Skaryna", a number of private publishing houses that specialized in translations into the Belarusian language and modern Belarusian-language literature.

  • The policy of Russification is carried out in the country. According to the population census, the number of Belarusians who consider Belarusian their native language decreased from 85.6% in 1999 to 61.2% in 2019.

  • Nominally, 40% of schools in the country are Belarusian-speaking, but only about 10% of students (a little over 100,000) study in them.

  • International Mother Language Day was declared by UNESCO in 1999 at the suggestion of Bangladesh. The holiday aims to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education, as well as promote awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions based on mutual understanding, tolerance and dialogue. The day of celebration - February 21 - was chosen because on this day in 1952, five students were killed who fought for the status of Bengali as the official language in what was then Pakistan, the eastern part of which later became the independent state of Bangladesh.

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