Following traditions of earlier years, Bangladesh Embassy in the Netherlands put up a grand Ekushe program involving Embassies of many other countries in The Hague and immersing them in the deeper renditions of Bangladeshi culture and traditions. The event was made to commemorate Immortal Ekushe and International Mother Language Day 2019 to disseminate multilingualism and culture of peace. More than 300 guests comprising Ambassadors of the Russain Federation, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Croatia, Romania, Vietnam and diplomatic representatives of India, Kosovo, Iraq and Uruguay, former Deputy Mayor of The Hague, members of expatriate Bangladeshi community, students, Dutch nationals, media, representatives of Embassies and International Organizations, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc based in The Hague joined the programmes.
The programme of the day began with observing one minute silence for the language martyrs of 1952 and those who lost their lives in the fire break out in Dhaka. In his welcome address, Bangladesh Ambassador to The Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal highlighted the significance of International Mother Language Day for furthering culture of peace in the world. He expressed profound gratitude to the Government of Bangladesh and to The Hague Municipal authority for extending necessary cooperation for the construction of the first-ever International Language Monument in Zuider Park of The Hague, which was inaugurated on 21 February 2019. Ambassador Belal added that this monument also highlight our love for our “mother tongue’ as well as for our “mothers”. It is, therefore, no coincidence that “women empowerment” is far more entrenched in Bangladesh than many other countries in the world as have been reported by the World Economic Forum’s “Global Gender Gap Report 2018” where Bangladesh earned its rank at 48th well ahead of the countries like USA, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Singapore, etc. It is also because of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s acute sense of motherliness that contributed her to open the border and thereby allowing million plus displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar to take shelter in Bangladesh.
The Hague based Ambassadors of the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Croatia, Vietnam, Romania, members of diplomatic corps and former Deputy Mayor of The Hague were made to participate in the event. Dr Dilruba Nasrin, wife of Ambassador Belal, moderated an event themed “Language of Peace” . In this segment, each participating Ambassador reiterated the theme of peace in her/his own language as well as in Bangla. As most of the participating Ambassadors and diplomats were aware of the tradition of our “Immortal Ekushe” or “International Mother Language Day”, participants seems to have participated with due home work on the culture and traditions of Bangladesh. Participating Ambassadors enjoyed the event so much so that most of them now wish to visit Bangladesh to see for themselves the people and its culture in Bangladesh.
Colourful and diverse cultural performances were presented by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Uruguay, Indonesia, African countries and the Russian Federation to convey the spirit of culture of peace embodied in the International Mother Language Day.
Children of Bangladesh played a short drama ‘My Identity’ in Bangla depicting the glorious history of Bangladesh starting from 1952’s Language Movement to 1971’s Liberation War. In their drama, children narrated the history of Bangladesh beginning from immortal Ekushe and showcased how Bangladesh earned its independence under the leadership of the best Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The guests praised the initiative of Embassy of Bangladesh for organizing the programme involving performers of other countries which showcases cultural integration and harmony.
Embassy’s hard work in arranging an event involving so many countries, under one platform, also highlighted how Bangladesh still working for the cause of world peace under the leadership of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina whom the world came to know as “Mother of Humanity”.
On 21 February 2019, the first-ever Shaheed Minar was inaugurated in The Hague by the Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal and Deputy Mayor of The Hague Ms. Saskia Bruines.