President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday called on the community to contemplate the reasons why children are no longer learning and using the Dhivehi language, expressing deep concern over the potential loss of the native language and appealing for collective action to preserve it.

Speaking at an event commemorating the 13th anniversary of the Writers’ Guild of the Maldives and the closing of a story-writing competition, he urged the government, authors, language instructors, and the entire community to shoulder the responsibility of addressing this issue promptly, as it could have irreversible consequences on the country’s literary heritage if left unattended. He praised the Writers’ Guild’s efforts in promoting Dhivehi and emphasised the importance of safeguarding the language and literature to maintain the country’s cultural identity.

In his address, President Solih highlighted Dhivehi language’s esteemed position, considering it as one of the greatest blessings to the Maldivian people, following the guidance of Islam. He noted the richness and vibrancy of the language, highlighting its extensive and illustrious history. The President also shed light on the various art forms encompassed within Dhivehi literature, including poetry, writing, speaking, and oratory, which further enrich its essence.

The president called for a concerted effort to promote Dhivehi literature within educational institutions and society at large, emphasizing the need for conducive environments that expose children to the wonders of literary arts. He pointed out that mastery of one’s native language serves as a powerful motivator in comprehending the complexities of other languages.

Concluding his remarks, President Solih called upon writers, language teachers, and professors to create Dhivehi literature that caters to diverse age groups. He stressed the significance of producing ethical Dhivehi books, with a particular focus on children.

The event, held at the State Electric Company Ltd. (STELCO) hall, also saw the presentation of prizes to the top three winners of the story-writing competition organised by the Writers’ Guild.