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Today is the National Day of Native Languages ​​and Mother Tongues.

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Today is the National Day of Native Languages ​​and Mother Tongues.

Today, February 21, was proclaimed by the UN and UNESCO as the International Mother Language Day, which aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and recognition of roots. Furthermore, the National Government, in order to guarantee the protection and individual and collective development of ethnic peoples, promotes this date as the Day of Native Languages.

The Ministries of Education and Cultures, Arts and Knowledge are protected by Law 381 of 2010 or the Native Languages ​​Law, to “guarantee the recognition, protection and development of the linguistic, individual and collective rights of groups ethnic groups with their own linguistic tradition, as well as the promotion of the use and development of their […] native languages”, in the context of the country’s linguistic diversity and the development of multilingual education.

Due to the cultural and linguistic wealth of the country, several activities will be held between February 21 and 23 at the Delia Zapata Olivella National Arts Center and the facilities of the Ministry of National Education, where they hope to foster a national space for reflection on the vitality of native languages ​​in Colombia in the face of factors such as current crises and armed conflict.

In Colombia, 70 languages ​​are spoken: Spanish and 69 mother tongues. Among them, 65 are indigenous languages, 2 creole languages ​​(Palenquero of San Basilio and that of the islands of San Andrés and Providencia – Creole), the Romaní or Romaníes of the Room people – Gypsy and the Colombian sign language. In addition to regional variations such as costeño, paisa, pastuso, rolo, etc.

The ONIC -Organaciones Nacional Indígena de Colombia- exposes that indigenous languages ​​are in danger of extinction due to the small population that currently uses them. To assert the above they cite a study by the University of the Andes and the Colombian Center for Aboriginal Language Studies – CECELA. “34 (native languages) have less than 1,000 speakers (Totoro, Barasano, Desano, Wanano, Piratapuyo, Achagua, Andoke, Bara, Bora, Cabayari, Carapana, Carijona, Chimila, Cocama, Hitnu, Macuna, Cacua, Nukak, Hupda, Yuhup, descendant, Muinane, Nonuya, Ocaina, Pisamira, Zionist, Syrian, Tanimuka, Tarian, Tatuyo, Tinigua, Tuyuca, Yucuna, Yurutí)”. In that study the languages ​​with the largest number of speakers is 50,000, which, compared to other mother tongues, is a very small figure.

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Given the panorama, the day is proclaimed as a great opportunity to value the ethnic and linguistic diversity of the country, and lay the foundations of a prosperous nation that celebrates the different ways of conceiving existence.

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