Published Feb 17, 2017 09:34am

Mother Languages Literature Festival will kick-start on Feb 18

The second edition of the two-day Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival will start on Feb 18 at the Lok Virsa.

The aim of the festival is to promote and celebrate Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity and to encourage reading in other languages.

The festival will be hosted by the Indus Cultural Forum, Lok Virsa and Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) with support from the Foundation Society Institute (Fosi), Sindh Government’s Department for Culture, Tourism and Heritage and the Society for Alternate Media and Research.

The program for the event was announced by the heads of these organisations at a press briefing on Thursday at Lok Virsa. The festival is being organised in connection with Unesco’s International Mother Languages Day, which is observed on Feb 21 every year.

Over 150 writers, intellectuals, critics, poets and artists from across Pakistan who write in over 15 languages will be participating in the festival to discuss the diversity of languages in Pakistan from a historical perspective and the challenges they are facing.

Discussions on various topics related to language, literature and culture, book launches, poetry recitals, musical events, screenings, performances, book stalls, food courts, cultural exhibitions and mobile libraries will be part of the festival. Books in Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtu, Brahvi, Seriaki, Punjabi and other languages and their Urdu and English translations will also be exhibited.

Speaking at the press briefing, Indus Cultural Forum Chairman Niaz Nadeem said the quality of content of the sessions’ has been improved this year.

SPO Chief Executive Naseer Memon the festival is aimed at promoting Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity as an instrument of social harmony, peace and tolerance.

He said there is a lot of literature available in the various languages of Pakistan, all of which represent the cultural plurality in the country. The festival will provide a platform for people to share literature in various languages.

Lok Virsa Executive Director Fouzia Saeed said that the festival is one of her organisation’s signature events and provide people to interact with writers from various languages.

Fosi representative Nargis Sultana said recognising the importance of various languages is vital for empowering communities and reducing discrimination. She said the festival will help establish connections between language policy and planning and better learning outcomes via indigenous languages.

Originally published in Dawn February 17th, 2017

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Anwar Mahmood Feb 17, 2017 11:28am

awesome

Pakistanis Feb 17, 2017 11:31am

This is the beauty of Pakistanis. Let all Pakistanis come close together

Ashraf Feb 17, 2017 12:14pm

First they enforce Urdu n let regional languages die, now they celebrate it. When will the irony stop ?

M. Emad Feb 17, 2017 03:55pm

February is the month of (Mother) Language Movement, Literature, and Love.

sheikh Feb 18, 2017 04:02am

Spent money on science exhibitions and scientific knowledge better things to do then making PR for politicians.

Abdul Miah Feb 18, 2017 04:08am

As a Bangladeshi, I am fascinated by the news of the festival. Also comment from Ashraf,"First they enforce Urdu n let regional languages die, now they celebrate it. When will the irony stop ?"

What a irony, Urdu was enforced in Bangladesh but people resisted. Same is being done to other provinces of Pakistan still now. Time to learn from history, force does not work in the long run. Let people learn and flourish in their mother tongue.

aafiyat Nazar Feb 18, 2017 08:27am

great move....

PARVEZ PC CHOWDHURY Feb 18, 2017 09:24am

21st. February is the International Mother Language Day. Thank you for Celebrating "Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival ". 65 years ago on this Day 7 student of Dhaka University including several other people were Killed by police for their Mother Language "Bengali".

PARVEZ PC CHOWDHURY Feb 18, 2017 09:28am

@Ashraf 21st. February is the International Mother Language Day! 65 years ago on this day 7 Student of Dhaka University including several other people were killed by police for their Mother Language "Bengali"!