"In the United States, roughly 20% of the population can speak a language other than English; comparatively, more than half of the European population (54%) can do the same. While this comparison is limited in scope, it speaks volumes about our isolated nature as Americans. Here at UNT, students from more than 49 different countries come together to learn every year. To appreciate our diverse student body, it is essential that we engage in languages spoken by our peers. February 21 is International Mother Language Day--join us in celebrating the influence of first languages and the impact they leave on our world."
I used the Shaheed Minar, a national monument in Bangladesh created to commemorate student protestors killed during the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations of 1952 in then East Pakistan. The monument represents a mother (the mother language) weeping over her lost children, which I illustrated in the design. The figures are speaking, tying it further to the theme. The words used in the four pillars on either side of the main figure is "mother tongues" repeated over and over in Bengali.