To celebrate UNESCO International Mother Language Day and the first birthday of Mother Tongues, we hosted the first Mother Tongues Festival on 24th February 2018.
The Festival was a celebration of Ireland’s linguistic diversity, with performances and workshops in seventeen different languages.
The Festival has been awarded the European Year of Cultural Heritage label.
Why a Mother Tongues Festival?
The most recent census in 2016 recorded that 612,018 residents in Ireland spoke a language other than the country’s official national languages English or Irish at home (CSO, 2017) and thousands of people spoke Irish regularly.
One of the goals of Mother Tongues is to raise awareness of the value of multilingualism and to encourage parents to transmit their language to their children.
Having a festival in which many languages are used for many different purposes is our way to show that every language matters, no matter how “big” or “small” it is!
Our artists, performers and language lovers will entertain their audiences in their own mother tongue, while showing that our many languages are alive, and they are all around us!
The Mother Tongues Festival is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland (www.artscouncil.ie)