The diverse community of Hastings gathered to celebrate International Mother Language Day at a special event hosted by
the Hastings Bengal Forum at Concordia Hall, St Leonards last Sunday (March 4).
The event has been observed in Hastings every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
Distinguished guests joining the celebrations included Hastings Mayor Cllr Judy Rogers, and Deputy Mayor Cllr Nigel Sinden. Opening the event Cllr Rogers said: “This important event celebrates the diversity of linguistic identities, recognises cultural and linguistic heritage and promotes a sense of belonging to the town.
“Once again this was a tremendous event attended by hundreds of people. We were treated to a colourful variety of performances including song, dance and poetry.”
“Our thanks go to the organisers of this very important event as it brings together communities of different nationality and faith and it really does show that we are ‘One Hastings, many voices’.”
Hundreds of people enjoyed the celebrations and varied activities which included traditional Bangla dance, live music, poem recitation, raffle draw, henna and stage performances.
Hastings Bengal Forum Chairman Abdul Mukith thanked everyone who helped make the event a success, adding: “Special thanks to Hastings Borough Council for their support.”
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Director-General Audrey Azoulay in her message for the day said: “A language is far more than a means of communication; it is the very condition of our humanity. Our values, our beliefs and our identity are embedded within it. It is through language that we transmit our experiences, our traditions and our knowledge.”