"Read dear child! you will get smarter the more you read!"
This is one of the most common lines that most Maldivian children would have heard growing up. Most of the time, this would originate from the lips of a mother who is worried that her child is spending too much time with toys and away from books, or from a teacher who believes that a child has a potential for more than what is on display at school and exams.
September 8, has been celebrated as World Literacy Day since 1966 by the UNESCO General Conference. The main aim of this day is to convey the importance of literacy to people from every community in every corner of the world. The theme for this year is "Literacy and Multilinguism".
Even though the celebrations of the day in the Maldives were not tremendous, the joy of this day was evident on the Twittersphere of the country. The most common post on everyone's feed was the hashtag "Emmen Foiy Kiyamaa", loosely translated it encourages everyone to start reading.
A tweet by Vice President Faisal Naseem emphasized on the importance of reading to build a better generation for tomorrow. The Education Minister Aishath Ali also tweeted urging parents to encourage their children to read more. She was joined by senior officials of the ministry who tweeted photos of them reading with their children.
Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid tweeted that the Maldives has a literacy rate of 98 percent, a fact that would make all Maldivians proud. Defense Minister Mariya Didi tweeted how reading was something she enjoyed with her children. North Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahumy tweeted how reading a book with children can be a learning experience for the parent as well.
A bit of Mother/Daughter time reading before heading off to school to celebrate World Literacy Day.— Mariya Didi ???? (@MariyaDidi) September 8, 2019
Dhemain ekee foiy kiyaalun e ee Atho aa ekuves, Aan aa ekuves, Amra aa ekuves heydha kurevey vaguthu kolhu therein dhemainves emmen enjoy kuraa eh kanthah. #EnmenvesFoiyKiyama pic.twitter.com/4sGbDTIpPz
The support for #EmmenvesFoiyKiyamaa was not just from senior government officials. The hashtag soon caught on with the public as well. People tweeted reminiscing about the libraries in schools and their fond memories of it.
Reading is not for a specific age group or gender. It is also not for a specific mood and can lighten your mood and reduce stress.
Some major benefits of reading
Other than this, reading also improves a person's attentiveness and their writing skills. It paves the way for a healthy life.
The best inspiration to us on this #InternationalLiteracyDay is the fact that the first command of the Holy Qur’an is: Read! Indeed, reading is the gateway to knowledge from which spring all human advances. Maldives is proud to have the highest literacy rate in South Asia. pic.twitter.com/oneSUa05V3— Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (@maumoonagayoom) September 8, 2019
So next time, consider these factors before you shrug away a good session of reading because it is too boring. Try to attach this beautiful habit in you and your loved ones. The benefits are immense!