Konstantin Markelov: Mother Tongue IsInvaluable for All ofUs

Konstantin Markelov: Mother Tongue IsInvaluable for All ofUs

The rector ofAstrakhan State University and head ofthe Department ofUNESCO Chair Learning Society and Human Sustainable Development sent his greetings onthe International Mother Language Day, declared bythe UNESCO General Conference and celebrated onFebruary21, tohis colleagues.

Dear students, professors and administrative staff of Astrakhan State University! This solemn day is a perfect excuse to recall the treasure we are given from birth — our great, powerful, faithful and free Russian language.

The International Mother Language Day was established by UNESCO in November 1999 in order to encourage the learning of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism, and since then, it is celebrated every year all across the globe.

Our mother tongue is invaluable for all of us. We use it to pronounce our first phrases and express thoughts and feelings. This is the basis we use to form our personality throughout our life.

Astrakhan region is one of the unique regions of Russia. It is home for 140 nationalities which preserve their cultural peculiarities, and each of them has a unique culture, history and traditions. At ASU, we always hear a native speech of our students who came from different regions of our country and from abroad. Our students study more than 15 foreign languages, but the teaching itself is carried out in Russian, the official language of Russia, so each student of Astrakhan State University must be proficient in it.

I am really happy to hear the Russian speech from our foreign students, when they recite poems of our great poets and sing Russian folk songs on the stage. Astrakhan State University pays much attention to promotion of Russian worldwide; for example, in November and December 2020, our university organized international project Intellectual and Creative Contests as a Basis to Form Stable Interest to Study Russian among Non-Native Speakers, supported by the Ministry of Education of Russia. Students from Tadzhikistan and Uzbekistan participated in a creative contest, Russian language competition, reading contest and intellectual tournament.

There are more than 7,000 languages in the world these days. All of them are unique, since each of them is a living legacy we must treat seriously and take care of. Our primary objective is to respect and preserve the language of our ancestors, our great literature and our State — our Russian language.

Happy International Mother Language Day!

Konstantin Markelov,

Rector of Astrakhan State University,

Head of the Department of UNESCO Chair "Learning Society and Human Sustainable Development