Category Archives: Special Dates

Let’s celebrate all languages

Language is such an important part of life. It shapes our interaction, our relationships and even the thoughts and feelings that we have as people. Different languages shape us in different ways, so imagine how boring the world would be without linguistic diversity.

language diversity, different languages, international mother language

International Mother Language Day

On 21 February 1952 a group of students were demonstrating for recognition of their mother tongue, Bangla, as a national language of what was then part of Pakistan. Tragically some of these students were killed during the demonstration. International Mother Language Day has been observed on this date every year since 1999, with the aim of promoting awareness of linguistic and cultural identity all over the world.

Awareness of traditions

According to UNESCO, encouraging people to celebrate their mother tongues will not just promote linguistic diversity, but will inspire solidarity between people based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

Help save dying languages

The name busuu comes from a language of the same name in Cameroon. With only eight living speakers of busuu, it’s really important that those people celebrate their language and try to pass it onto others before the language dies out. At busuu we made a video to help save the language we are named after.

Celebrate languages with busuu

Learning any language is a celebration of linguistic diversity. Here at busuu we offer 12 different languages and we believe people should learn new languages but also share and celebrate their own culture and heritage. With our massive online community you can connect with users from all over the world, speaking hundreds of different languages.

What’s your mother language? Is it the language you usually speak?

Halloween around the world

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Halloween (also spelt Hallowe’en or known as All Hallows’ Eve) is recognised every year on 31 October in lots of countries around the world. Find out more about Halloween with busuu!

How did Halloween start?

Many people believe that Halloween originally developed from festivals in western Europe, celebrating either harvests or the dead. It might even come from the Gaelic seasonal festival called Samhain, which was observed in Ireland and Scotland.

Where is Halloween celebrated?

Although it began in Europe, Halloween is now popular in many other countries due to migrants introducing the tradition. For example, it’s thought that it arrived in North America thanks to Irish people who moved there in the 19th century.

North America

Throughout the USA and Canada, Halloween is one of the biggest events of the year. After Christmas, it’s also the most popular time to decorate both indoors and outdoors!

Trick-or-treating is a favourite pastime. This involves children dressing up and then going from door to door to ask for sweets. Halloween costume parties are very common – for adults too!

Europe

Halloween is not as popular as in North America, but it’s still widely celebrated. Typical activities include fancy dress parties, trick-or-treating, ‘bobbing’ for apples, making lanterns, eating toffee apples or enjoying fireworks.

Central and South America

The Day of the Dead, which is on the 2nd of November, is a well-known festival in Mexico. It’s a time when friends and family get together to remember those who have died.

However, North-American-style Halloween celebrations are also growing in popularity, including games such as trick-or-treating and typical symbols like pumpkin lanterns and witches.

Asia

For Chinese in Hong Kong and Singapore, Halloween is a time to give presents to spirits to keep them happy. Western-style celebrations are also popular in Singapore and Japan.

Explore Halloween with busuu!

Are you feeling spooky? Then try out the special busuu Halloween learning unit! It has lots of useful vocabulary, as well as a dialogue, a writing exercise, a chance to chat to native speakers and a test to check what you’ve remembered.

How do you celebrate?

Is Halloween celebrated where you live? Or do you have a similar local festival with different traditions? Does your language have any special Halloween words or phrases? Let us know in the comments!