For the second year running Longsight Library and it’s local community  & partners celebrated International Mother Language Day, this time as part of the launch of Manchester becoming a UNESCO City of Literature.  Greater Manchester Bangladeshi Associations’ Saturday school entertained us with their very brilliant and talented young people who both danced and recited poetry in their mother tongue.

Stanley Grove Primary Academy used the library’s glass front to create their installation art piece that had worked with 8 Longsight based schools and 2280 children!! The piece is stunning and combines lines from selected poems that unites people.  These were all written in the multitude of languages that reside in our community. Poet Matt Goodfellow gave a lively performance of his poems from the co-produced book “The Same Inside” (the book used for the poems).  He had us all joining in shouting back lines and repeating actions. As a rather lovely aside,  this combined poetry/art installation was simultaneously happening around the world in a school in Mumbai also celebrating Mother Language Day!

Children joined in the interactive dance & storytelling of Mimesis. Shrikant told the story of The Peacock & The Crane to the fantastic sounds of his musician partner David. This took place in the children’s library which houses Manchester Museums’s Peacock and Crane. Manchester Museum made paper plate peacocks with families as well as introducing families to the museum.


We were also joined by the lovely students from Manchester University’s Multilingual Manchester who brought along a whole host of fun language themed activities such as mapping languages in the area. Author Zahid Hussain ran a popular Young Muslim Writers workshop for budding literature creatives.

I have to say, the atmosphere was fantastic! It was just lovely to join in and celebrate within our vibrant community of Longsight and beyond.