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There is more to February than Valentine’s Day

Flowers for Valentine's Day

There is more to February than Valentine’s Day

By Allan Mbotshwa

FEBRUARY is popularly known as the month of love due to the Valentine’s Day commemorations slated for the 14th of the month, annually, however, there is more to the month than just love celebrations.

The 11th of February is the International Day for Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS), the 13th is celebrated as World Radio Day, the 21st is reserved for International Mother Language Day (internationally), while in Zimbabwe the day is also set aside as Robert Mugabe Youth Day.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set aside these days for February to celebrate or commemorate the things done by various people across the globe.

These days are commemorated by United Nations member states and are not necessarily public holidays unless a state deems it so in their nation.

The IDWGS was set aside in a bid to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. Since then, this day has been utilized to promote “full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.”

It is implemented by UNESCO and UN Women, in collaboration with intergovernmental agencies and institutions, as well as civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science.

On the 13th, World Radio Day is celebrated across the globe by all UN member states. This day focuses on the radio as a media entity on its own and the various roles it has played since the intervention of the communication device.

Radio is still considered the most effective mode of information in the African continent.

In Africa, most countries are still on the verge of developing, coming out of wars for independence; hence, there is not much development in these war-ravaged areas.

Radio is easily accessible and cheap to acquire, as compared to other modes of information like television and the Internet.

From the 13th, there is the 21st which is considered the International Mother Language Day (MLD), the main thrust of these celebrations is to celebrate the various languages that are in existence across the globe. These celebrations aim to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

MLD is part of a broader initiative “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”, as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 May 2007.

This United Nations (UN) resolution, which also established in 2008 as the International Year of Languages. The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh.

In Zimbabwe, the 21st is set aside as Youth Day in recognition of the 21st February Movement, which used to celebrate the birthday of the late former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

The youth arm of the ruling party lobbied for the former president’s birthday to be declared a national holiday for the leader’s role in empowering the country’s youth.

These commemorations are important across the country and the globe as they hold significance to the aspects they are founded for. However, they are overshadowed by the theme of the month which is love in anticipation of St Valentine’s Day, which is less formally recognized, but still celebrated regardless.

The day is especially marked for lovers to show their affection for each other through buying gifts comprising most chocolates and flowers and going out on special dates different from the usual ones during the year.

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