Essex Indians celebrate International Mother Tongue Day with a hugely successful webinar on multilingualism

Essex Indians (EI) registered charity 1186579 celebrated International mother tongue day on 21st February 2021, a day that pays tribute to all language martyrs in Dhaka, Bangladesh and now recognised as International Language Day worldwide by UNESCO.

The event was presented by Dr Arpita Ray, Trustee and Cultural Secretary and Dr Anirban Mandal, Trustee and General Secretary of EI. The Chief guests were Hon’ble Mayor of Chelmsford Jude Deakin and Hon’ble Mayor of Basildon David Burton-Sampson. The distinguished honoured guests were Prof Antonella Sorace who has done lot of research on advantages on Bilingualism and Multilingualism and Prof Bashabi Fraser honoured with CBE in 2021.

The highlights of the celebration was a webinar on multilingualism and significance of learning mother tongue chaired by Prof Sorace and QA session by Dr Piyal Sen, Dr Dipankar Mukhopadhyay, chairman of EI, Dr Ray, Prof Fraser and also generation next Tiyash, Ritisha, Shuvam and Arya.

Little children Annika from West London, Hridya from Essex, Gareema and Diksha from Melbourne presented chapters of ‘Sahaj Path’. Gargi from Colchester presented ‘ Tuntuni r Golpo’ while Iona from Birmingham presented ‘ Belonging’ – her own writing. Ritisha from Birmingham presented Mozart piece in viola and also talked about Mozart.

Shuvam from Hainault and Rounak from Derby recited Bengali poems. Shiva Arya Meera , Lavanya’s students performed Telugu dance. Arya presented aaguner Parashmani , the eternal Rabindrasangeet prayer.

Ahana presented ‘bangla r bayu’ in dance  form and also a Rabindranritya. Anirban recited ‘ekusher daak’ written by Prof Dilip Chakroborty from Presidency College, Kolkata. Anirban, Arpita and Baishali presented bidhayak bhattacharya’s drama ‘ Tahar Naamti Ranjana’ in audio drama form.

Moumita, Ujjwal and Anirban presented ‘Amra Korbo Joy’ the Bengali music form of We shall Overcome as a positive spirit to combat Covid 19. Srijon, generation next from Birmingham,

Sutapa from Chelmsford, Moumita from Kent and Anirban from Billericay presented ‘Ami banglae gaan gai’ – the song which personalise the Bengali language and emotions.

Anirban sang the concluding song ‘ Ekushe February’ – the landmark song of Bhasa Dibosh. Arpita recited ‘ Aamar bhasha’ wriyten by her school mate Sweta Bhattacharya and Dr Fraser described the evolution of Bhasa Dibosh in Scotland.

Arpita congratulated Arya and Shuvam for achieving A* (9) in Bengali GCSE students of Maitreya Bengali Club which currently has 19 students. Dipankar, Anirban and Arpita thanked everyone worldwide for joining from all corners of the world and celebrating EI 8th International Language Day.

Dr Anirban Mandal

Dr Anirban Mandal is a plastic surgeon working in the NHS. He is a Trustee of the charity Essex Indians and is a singer by passion.