A house-sized monument will be built in Small Heath Park by the Bangladeshi community to celebrate diversity.

An application has been submitted to Birmingham City Council to install the 23ft tall structure in time for next year’s commemoration on February 21.

It would feature five pieces of steel framework and would be constructed in recognition of International Mother Language Day.

They would sit on a concrete base measuring 3.2ft tall.

The monument will be based on the one in the capital of Bangladesh.

International Mother Language Day has been observed since February 2000 and promotes linguistic and cultural diversity as well as multilingualism.

It was approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) following an initiative in Bangladesh to commemorate the day when students from Dhaka were killed in protests in 1952 whilst campaigning for Bangla/Bengali to be recognised as a state language of Pakistan.

The design and access statement for the monument claims that the area surrounding Small Heath Park is ‘home to the largest Bangladeshi community in the city and one of the biggest in the UK’.

“On 28th March 1971 thousands of Bangladeshis gathered there in support of Bangladesh’s independence.

“This day is still observed each year at Small Heath Park by the Bangladeshi community in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

“Each year a temporary structure is built to mark the day and around 400 people gather before midnight on the eve of 21 February to pay their respects to those who lost their lives and to promote the freedom to speak one’s mother tongue, peace and cultural diversity.”

The document adds that there is ‘overwhelming interest and desire’ locally for the monument which would provide a ‘cultural focus’ in the park and ‘form a backdrop’ for certain events throughout the year.



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