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The International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures
The United Nations, UNESCO, MIFL

International Research and Practice Conference "The Native Language in Modern Society: Attitude of the Young"
February 25-26, 2010
The organizers of the conference:
» Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, under the auspices of UNESCO
» The Russian Academy of Linguistics
» The Academic Council for the Study and Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The International Research and Practice Conference "The Native Language in Modern Society: Attitude of the Young" was held at Moscow Institute of Foreign Language on February 25-26, 2010. The participants were young scientists (students and graduate students from the CIS, Baltic and Russian universities). Geography was broad: the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan as well as some regions of the Russian Federation, such as: Bashkortostan, Buryatia, Karelia, Tatarstan, Chuvashia, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tver.
The conference was held in the year proclaimed by the UN as the "International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures", and dedicated to the Mother Language Day, celebrated annualy on February 21 by UNESCO.
The International Research and Practice Conference "The Native Language in Modern Society: Attitude of the Young" was one of the first events held by UNESCO in the year of the Rapprochement of Cultures.
International Mother Language Day is held annually to promote the acceptance and use of native languages in the world. The choice of date was not accidental: on February 21, 1952 in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, students participating in the demonstration in defense of their native Bengali language, died from police bullets. They required to acknowledge their native language as one of the official languages of the country. This year's International Mother Language Day was celebrated by UNESCO within the framework of the International Year of Rapprochement of Cultures, which was officially opened on February 18 at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO.
The message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, noted that it is necessary, "speaking in support of dialogue and better understanding of each other, to promote respect for other cultures and break down barriers between different cultures. Exchange and dialogue between cultures is the best weapon of a world".
During the conference a panel discussion took place with leading scientists of MIFL, MSU, the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, the Tatar State Humanitarian Pedagogical University participating, as well as breakout sessions, an open lecture on the role of language in a multilingual world. The Organizing Committee selected 35 reports for presentations at the following sections: "Language as a translator of culture of the people", "Problems of "large" and "small" languages", "Linguistic situation in the post Soviet environment: Status and Prospects".
Papers presented by young researchers were of an integrative nature, possessed scientific novelty and relevance. Some reports were given with a presentation which was necessary in the analysis of examples from the Vepsian, Tatar, and Belarusian languages. The reports caused great interest not only to linguists, but also the journalists attending the conference. Questions often pointed out the further course of the study, proved their relevance. The participants of the conference noted that the International Research and Practice Conference "The Native Language in Modern Society: Attitude of the Young" was a success, emphasizing the role of Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, and of Amet Volodarsky, Deputy Chairman of the Academic Council for the Study and Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage Academy of Sciences, acting Chancellor of Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages as the chairman of the Organizing Committee.
The organizing committee and participants of the conference decided the following:
To organize a separate section of young researchers in the International scientific conference "Language. Culture. Society";
To direct the efforts of parties concerned to open up centers to popularize the Russian language and youth diplomacy centers within universities which took part in the conference;
To continue humanitarian cooperation between MIFL and universities participating in the conference, and to hold joint events on the 65th anniversary of Victory in Great Patriotic War;
To make a web portal as a permanent Internet center for experts in the field of intercultural communication, including members of the International Research and Practice Conference "The Native Language in Modern Society: Attitude of the Young";
To hold panel discussions in the universities, whose representatives participated in this scientific event, dedicated to promoting both Russian and native languages in the framework of the International Year of Rapprochement of Cultures.
Prepared by Olga Lomakina,
PhD, Head of the Department of the Russian Language and Culture of Speech, MIFL,
Deputy Chairperson of the Organizing Committee
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