On 21st February 2019, Manchester will celebrate International Mother Language Day with exciting events taking place across the city.

Activities include fun, family-friendly games, crafts and performances, a panel discussion, workshops and a multilingual mushaira. You can find out more details below:

Manchester City Council’s Libraries Team is hosting events for people of all ages, with free activities, games and performances:

Central Library (Performance space), Thursday 21 February, 1pm-4pm, FREE

Join the team at Central Library for multilingual storytelling, international food, music, crafts, and performances by some of Manchester’s supplementary schools. Plus, don’t miss the chance to record your own multilingual poetry in special poetry pods (see Multi-language Mushaira details below). Multilingual Manchester will be hosting an exhibition exploring the city’s language diversity, which you can also find in the Performance Space from 1pm.

Longsight Library, Thursday 21 February, 2pm-4pm, FREE

Visitors to Longsight Library can get involved in Arabic calligraphy, watch performances and do a range of crafts and hands-on activities for all ages. Plus, don’t miss the chance to record your own multilingual poetry in special poetry pods (see Multi-language Mushaira details below), and play language games with Multilingual Manchester.

Wythenshawe Forum Library, Thursday 21 February, 12pm-3pm, FREE

Join the event at Wythenshawe Forum Library to take part in fun activities with Afro Tots, make badges and bunting celebrating Manchester’s many languages, add your language to multilingual artwork, and more! Plus, don’t miss the chance to record your own multilingual poetry in special poetry pods (see Multi-language Mushaira details below), and play language games with Multilingual Manchester.

North City Library, Thursday 21 February, 11am-3pm, FREE

At North City Library, there will be multilingual story sessions, crafts and fun food activities to join. Plus, don’t miss the chance to record your own multilingual poetry in special poetry pods (see Multi-language Mushaira details below), and play language games with Multilingual Manchester.

‘Mancunian Tongues: Why language diversity matters for Manchester’ public discussion event:

Multilingual Manchester (The University of Manchester) is hosting a public discussion event, ‘Mancunian Tongues: Why language diversity matters for Manchester’, on Thursday 21 February, 6:30pm, at Central Library (Performance Space). The speakers are:

– Esme Ward, Director, Manchester Museum

– Lemn Sissay MBE, Author and Chancellor of The University of Manchester

– Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council

The event is free to attend. Please register in advance on Eventbrite: http://manctongues.eventbrite.co.uk

Multi-language Mushaira:

The Manchester Writing School (Manchester Metropolitan University) and artist Emma Martin (Stanley Grove Primary School) are hosting a Multi-language Mushaira, on Thursday 21st February, 7pm-9pm, at Longsight Library. A mushaira is a lively and interactive poetry performance event, traditionally in Urdu and other South Asian languages; at the Multi-language Mushaira, everyone will be invited to share poetry in any language of their choice, around the theme of food.

At each of the daytime library events on 21st February (details above), you can also visit one of our International Mother Language Day Poetry Pods to be part of our #McrMushaira. Everyone is welcome. Come and tell us about your favourite food and work with our resident #McrMushaira poet to help create and read some amazing food poetry. Look out for our beautiful little Poetry Pod and our paper-plate clouds. We can’t wait to meet you!

CALLING ALL SCHOOLS, SUPPLEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS…

Anyone can join in!  Even if you can’t make it on the day, you can film yourself reading poetry in any language and upload it to Twitter or Instagram, using our #McrMushaira at any time in the lead up to 21st February. Or do both. We hope to see you at one of our participating libraries.

If you would like your school, class or group to join in, there are really useful resource packs available to help you. Please email Emma Martin, Creative Lead (emartin@sgpa.bfet.uk) for the FREE packs.

‘Manchester in Translation’ workshops: 

Comma Press is running a special day of free workshops and talks offering advice and insight into the world of translation, on 21 February 2019, 10am–5pm, at Z-Arts, Hulme. Organised in partnership with Multilingual Manchester, it will be an opportunity for budding translators – or those with a passion for working between languages – to develop practical skills for literary translation in particular, learn about the life of the translator and discover ways of getting yourself published!