Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the culture has no clash with the religions referring to numerous attacks on the culture including killing people by bombings during celebration of the Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bengali New Year.
"Some people want to create confrontation between culture and religions. This is not correct at all. Religions are for individuals, but festivals are for all. We celebrate our festivals together," she said.
She virtually joined the programme held at Shilpakala Academy from her official Ganabhaban residence here while offices of the deputy commissioners of the eight districts were remotely connected to it.
The premier stressed the need for protecting Bangalees own culture and heritage particularly area-based ones alongside culture of small ethnic groups and tribal people.
She also advocated for knowing modern culture and musical equipment by protecting the local culture and heritage and thus flourish own culture.
Sheikh Hasina said they had faced obstruction to observe the Pahela Baishakh-1414 when they were in opposition and even people were killed by bombings at Ramna Batamul aimed at stopping Bangalees cultural practices.
The Pahela Baishakh is the only festival which is celebrated by all, she said, adding that this year, the festival will be celebrated on limited scale after two years of hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A documentary on the newly constructed buildings of Shilpakala Academies in the eight districts was also screened at the function.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid and Secretary of Cultural Affairs Ministry Md Abul Monsur spoke on the occasion while Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky gave the welcome address.
The design of the eight districts’ Shilpakala Academies’ buildings was formulated highlighting the districts' cultural heritage and history.
Each of the building has all the required modern facilities that included modern sound system and open stage.
Sheikh Hasina said her government, after assuming power in 1996, had taken every possible measure to flourish the Bengali culture and heritage as the post 1975 governments had no idea and zeal about the culture.
The prime minister asked all concerned to work for further spreading the distinctiveness of the Bengali culture across the globe.
In a bid to enrich the Bengali culture and provide scope to the people to practice it largely, she said her government has a plan to build a cultural complex in all upazilas across the country.
"We will build cultural complex in all 493 upazilas across the country so that our children from each upazila can get opportunity to flourish their talents and do cultural practices," she said.
The prime minister asked all concerned to build the multipurpose hall in the cultural complex in the upazila level in such a way so cinemas including feature films and short films could be screened.
"So, you have to prepare the projects keeping that in your mind," she said, adding that then the people will get chance to be amused.
Sheikh Hasina said that the practices of the Bengali culture would have to be continued.
"We must not forget our tradition, and at the same time, we have to go with the trend of the new era. Our children need to cope with modern culture and they have to adopt and practice that," she said.
She put emphasise on attaining knowledge of modern technology alongside practicing and protecting Bangalees tradition.
She said that tradition, modern technology and knowledge can not be separated from each other.
The prime minister said that people from all religions along with small ethnic group lives in Bangladesh.
"We have created scope to flourish all cultures," she said, adding special attention needs to enrich those further.
The premier said that for a country it is urgently needed to practice own culture for its further progress.
She stressed the need for required measures to enrich the area based culture such as songs, literature, Jatra, Kobi Gaan and others.
"These are our invaluable assets and we have to give special attention for its progress," she said.
Sheikh Hasina reiterated that her government has allocated a fund of Tk 1000 crore to modernise the old cinema halls, build new ones and overall development of the film industry.
She urged the owners of the halls to avail the opportunity and modernise their cinema halls.