Levenshulme will host Manchester’s first Language Day on Saturday to celebrate the community’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity.
The free event will feature information stalls, language taster sessions, games for children, live music, performances and international films at Levenshulme Market, the Levenshulme Inspire Centre and The Klondyke Club.
Levenshulme Councillor Basat Sheikh said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the residents of Levenshulme to learn about one another’s backgrounds and languages.”
The event is organised by the Multilingual Manchester project, Manchester City Council, Levenshulme Inspire, Levenshulme Market and local schools.
“This is the first event as part of the University’s social responsibility agenda,” said Prof Yaron Matras of Multilingual Manchester, run by the University of Manchester.
“We are working on together with stake holders in the local community to raise awareness of different languages.”
It is set to showcase the work of supplementary schools and community organisations, and bring together residents and visitors of all ages to share and discuss around the theme of language.
Councillor Dzidra Noor, member for Levenshulme Ward, said: “Levenshulme is one of the city’s most vibrant areas and is attracting new residents of all backgrounds.
“The Language Day will help us flag our linguistic and cultural diversity.”
Speaking of the importance of languages in developing diversity Professor Matras said: “Languages are an integral aspect of community’s cultures, and developing and encouraging curiosity in this way builds bridges between people.
“In the same way that people engage with other cultures’ foods, we are taking it a step further here with languages.
“It is important for culture and social cohesion but also for skills.
“At the University we are combining our research to help public services plan accessibility and provisions that people in the community can maintain languages as part of their heritage.
“From a business point of view languages are key to economic growth and expansion into international markets, and are one of the top criteria for international businesses looking to invest in the city.”
Levenshulme Market will host a central information stall and exhibition with interactive language activities and live music from 10am – 4pm.
While The Klondyke Club will host information stalls from supplementary schools, community organisations, local service providers, language taster sessions and storytelling and crafts from 10am – 4.30pm.
And Levenshulme Inspire Centre will hold a Bilingual Café from 1 – 3pm, with more games and taster sessions for kids, and productions by the Levenshulme Youth Project, before 12 international short films will be screened from 7pm – 9pm.