International Mother Language Day/ Piano Anniversary
- On Wednesday, February 20, a group of singers and some other disciples went to the Bangladesh Mission to the U.N. to sing some of Sri Chinmoy's Bengali songs for their celebration function of International Mother Language Day.
International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages.
International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since 2000 February to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, laid down their lives in order to retain their cultural and linguistic identity.
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62).On 16 May 2009 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world".
By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.
The Bangladeshi Ambassador to the U.N., Dr.Abdul Momen, was there to offer his inspiring words along with other guest speakers including the Sri Lankan Ambassador, Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona. There was some other entertainment including a children's spiritual dance performance and a play dramatically read out in the beautiful Bengali lanuage, Bangla.
We had performed at this very nice venue in the past due to the graces of the Bangladesh Mission and its staff. Mr. Momtazuddin Ahmed, the cultural minister at the Bangladesh mission, in particular, has been a real supporter of our Centre as well.
The Bangladeshi community is so proud of Guru, and all the westerners, who with such love and respect learn songs in Bangla. It makes them feel so honored.
(P.S. After this function in Manhattan we attended our own Wednesday evening function and celebrated Guru's Piano Anniversary. We sang Guru's song 'Piano, Bishaler Pane' which was composed on Feb. 18, 1988.
The translation is as follows:
"Piano, piano, piano, piano!
You beckon me towards the vastness of Infinity.
Piano, piano, piano, piano!
You embody Infinity's music-treasure.
Piano, piano, piano, piano!
Sleeplessly you offer me
Your heart flooded with the Love Divine."
After the song we saw a video of Guru playing the piano in one of his earlier performances at the old Buchman Hall in Manhattan in 1986 I believe. Guru's soulfulness and high meditation while dynamically playing the Grand Piano in his own inimitable style really uplifts the consciousness in a most powerful and sweet way.