21st February is International Mother Language Day and our blog is hosting a 2 day celebration of languages. A series of blog posts by people from different walks of life - sharing their thoughts on languages, memories and more. International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
(This post was sent by Sampurna Murti. Sampurna is a consultant with Pratham Books and is trying to find out which language she dreams in.)
I don’t have a particular mother tongue.
From the time I was born I grew up listening to 4 languages. So for me mother tongue has many connotations. For me a mother language is like a mother – in whom one finds comfort, has a sense of belonging and the space to be you.
Like most children I grew up listening to stories. I don’t remember a particular story that I heard, but many stories and poems. Among the ones that stand out in my memory and I loved are Shuorani and Duorani stories in Bangla about two queens – one evil and one good as their names suggest, a Tamil story about a sparrow who decided to make some payasam, stories about Krishna killing Kamsa and the snake Kaliya, poems about the rain – Brishti Podey Tapur Tupur in Bangla, Ye Re Ye Re Pausa in Marathi and a Tamil poem about a frog in a bowl containing sweet dumplings.
But there is one common thread that runs through all these and binds all of them together and that is that they were all narrated by someone. So the memories about the stories are always connected with people – my aunts, my mother, my nanny. I think this is what makes the stories so special.
I think it is important for everyone to have a mother language – a language that you can call your own. Someone once asked me what language I dream in. That indeed would be a good indicator!
Image Source : Nicole Pierce/ nicopierce