Frankly, one’s mother tongue always stands out as the best expression for one’s feelings. For instance, a Bangladeshi student studies in English Medium will still use Bangla as the language for thinking. The same applies to people who speak English more than they speak Bangla, including me. We might be proficient in English, but we use Bangla to convey our inner expressions. My mother tongue was always the best tool for expressing the emotions, feelings, and philosophies that I couldn’t in English. The reason being, my mother tongue is the language I have been listening, since childhood. My mother tongue has been the tool for expressing anger by my friend, the dissatisfaction of my parents, or the disgust I felt when a senior bullied me in elementary school. In my opinion, subconsciously or consciously, we use our mother tongue to reflect the most basic of human emotions: love, anger, sorrow, disgust, or hatred. My question for everyone whose mother tongue is Bangla: When you’re in extreme pain or sickness, do you blabber in English? If you have are groomed like me, then the answer is most certainly a definite no. Regardless of how we treat our mother tongue, it remains the tool for expressing our deepest emotions.
By the grace of Almighty, I can speak English fluently. However, that’s not the case with Bangla, neither is it something I am proud of. Despite living in Bangladesh, if you are not as fluent in your mother tongue (Bangla) as you are in English, then that is a matter of shame. We need to understand that there is no heroism in prioritizing the second language over the first. Unfortunately, a vast majority of the young generation fails to acknowledge the intensity of this matter and thus, disrespect and disregard the usage of Bangla among friends and in programs. It was only a few days back when I realized this, and that’s when I started changing myself. Currently, I am trying to improve my Bangla and take it to the level where I’ve taken my English. The prime reason for doing this is to gain mental clarity. I felt mentally distressed when I saw that I was not fluent in Bangla as I was in English. I felt like I was losing my originality and my identity. This feeling suffocated me to such an extent that I started speaking more Bengali than English in my recent LIVE sessions, online classes, and the videos I made. Today, I’m still standing in the middle of the process, but I feel less frustrated and lost because I started this journey.
Regardless of what we become in our life or what we do, we need to make sure we don’t disregard our origin consciously or subconsciously. That includes: showing respect to our national anthem by remaining quiet, practicing proper and fluent Bangla at home and educational institutions (when possible), avoiding the use of distorted Bangla under all circumstances, respecting the opinion of people who prioritize Bangla in speaking, and respecting our mother tongue from the core of our heart. Let this be the slogan for February. Let this February be a month of change!