At times when my mother attends my call and says “Yes, tell what happened”, my instant reaction would be to clarify “Mamma, hum bol rahe hai”, even after knowing that she is aware that I have called. Though she did not speak in an unusual way nor was the statement wrongly framed, but the fact that my mom spoke to me in English made me feel awkward, it is because we speak Hindi at home.
Hindi being my first language imposes a stronger connection compared to any other foreign or regional language, hence if anyone speaks in English at home with each other the conversation sounds very formal. Even though we converse in English on our day to day basis to interact with people on different global platforms it can never replace the relationship built along the years with our mother tongue. There is a sense of possession and oneness with the language taught by our parents and grandparents.
Languages are passed from generations to generations and it reflects the antiquity of our ancestral history. Our native language keeps us rooted to our traditions and culture. Be it a language spoken worldwide or the one spoken within a tribal or rural community, both hail its unique past and evokes a sense of belonging to the one speaking it, hence no language should be treated supreme than the other or vice versa. Also speaking to a person in their own language will help build rapid rapport and trust, because that will allow them to explain themselves in a better way.
Now a days parents converse with their children in English purely to improve their vocabulary, but research has stated that a child proficient in his/her mother language can learn a second language on a much faster pace. Besides that speaking to a child in a foreign language deprives them the opportunity to learn more about their prosperous heritage, due to which native languages around the globe are losing its identity.
Do you remember letting out that sigh of relief on meeting a person of your nationality in a foreign country? Even though it feels home to hear someone speak in your native speech the base of our languages is not firm any more. People in India barely speak in their mother tongue with friends or family members, it is mostly English (international language) or Hindi (national language), due to which today’s generation lacks to understand the sentiments of their elders attached to the language .
International Mother Language Day (21 st February) commemorates the significance of languages around the world, preserving linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education. Reading poems, watching movies or speaking with friends and family in our mother tongue will strengthen our roots and also encourage the future generation to take pride in their first language that defines their identity.