Community

Museum celebrates language diversity with bilingual film screening


Saito Cleary

The Los Altos History Museum is scheduled to observe International Mother Language Day with a screening of the Japanese documentary “Paper Lanterns,” followed by messages of peace in languages from around the world, 5-7 p.m. Feb 21 at the museum, 51 S. San Antonio Road.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization launched International Mother Language Day in 2000 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and to preserve languages before they disappeared.

“At the Los Altos History Museum, we know that language carries so much of our international art and culture,” said Elisabeth Ward, executive director. “Last year, we participated for the first time in this annual event, sharing poems in our native tongues. Everyone enjoyed hearing languages ranging from Mongolian to French, all right here in our local community.”

This year’s theme is “Peace Around the World.” Local residents are encouraged to share messages of peace in their native languages, and attendees will receive an English translation.

Food and drinks from around the world will be served.

“Los Altos residents possess a global perspective, having moved here from other parts of the world or having traveled to other countries,” Ward said. “This event is meant to appreciate our international heritage.”

“Paper Lanterns” follows Shigeaki Mori, a resident of Hiroshima and an atomic bomb survivor, as he tracks down the stories of 12 U.S. prisoners of war who perished, along with tens of thousands of Japanese, in the attack. His journey to bring closure and solace to the families of the POWs is one of reconciliation and healing. Producer Nobuko Saito Cleary, a Los Altos Hills resident, will be on hand to introduce the film.

Admission to the event is free, but registration is required.

To register and for more information, visit losaltoshistory.org/motherLanguageDay.

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