Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures Celebrates Mother Language Day

A globe sits on a table with the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe facing the viewer.
Photo by Kyle Glenn/

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 15, 2024) — The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at UAlbany will celebrate Mother Language Day on Feb. 22 with a slate of activities designed to highlight and explore cultural and linguistic diversity.

Mother Language Day was first observed in Bangladesh to commemorate the deaths of four students who were killed in 1952 while protesting the suppression of their native language. It was approved as an international holiday at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000, with the goal of preserving languages, recognizing linguistic heritage and celebrating cultural diversity globally.

The LLC department at UAlbany has organized a day of activities in celebration of the day, including mini language classes, fireside chats with language faculty, culinary lessons, writing and trivia contests, and more.

See the full lineup of activities below. All events will be held in Humanities 354 unless otherwise stated.

1-1:30 p.m. Mini classes

French, Italian, Russian and Spanish

1:30-2 p.m. Language Quest — Talk Edition

LLC alumni, students and faculty will be available for one-on-one chats. Ask questions, get to meet/know the department and connect with others.

2-3 p.m. Faculty fireside chat

Get to know your professors, their language passion and research

3:30-4:30 p.m. Galettes des Rois & crepes

A special French cultural component dedicated to the French traditions of Galette des Rois, also known as King cakes, and La Chandeleur, also known as Candlemas and a day for eating crepes. (HU 290 - limited attendance, the first 30 will be seated)

4:30-7:30 p.m. Desserts around the world

Broaden your culinary horizons and learn about the traditions of sweets around the world

5-5:30 p.m. Essay/poetry contest

The winners of an essay/poetry contest on the topic of “Why Language Matters to Me” will be announced at 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 22. 

5:30-6:30 p.m. Stump the Professor Contest

Try to bring slang the professors don’t know (English and other languages)

6:30-7:30 p.m. All the Facts

International trivia contest

Questions? Contact the department at 518-442-4100 or [email protected].