The Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington, DC celebrated the Bangla Nabo Barsho 1429 and Eid Reunion on Friday (May 13) with much enthusiasm and fanfare.
Ambassador Kelly Keiderling, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Public Diplomacy, joined the event as the Guest of Honour.
Member of Parliament Aparajita Haque and Editor-in-Chief of Ekattor Television and President of Editors Guild Mozammel Babu were present as the special guests. Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA M. Shahidul Islam delivered the welcome remarks.
Diplomats from South Asian countries, officials of the US Government and State Department and a large number of guests from Bangladesh Diaspora also attended the joyful event, said press release of Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington DC on Sunday (May 15).
In her speech, Ambassador Kelly Keiderling highly appreciated the tremendous socioeconomic development Bangladesh has achieved in the span of a generation. Millions of Bangladeshis came out of the poverty and the country now has entered into the middle income category, she added.
Bangladesh Ambassador Shahidul Islam, in his remarks, narrated illustrious history of Bangla New Year celebration and said Pohela Boishakh is an integral part of Bengali culture and tradition, and the most universal festival of the nation.
On the other hand, he said, Eid-ul-Fitr is the largest religious festival for the Muslim majority population, reminding them of the virtues of self-purification, compassion and charity.
He noted that these two festivals are to celebrate the foundational values of the War of Independence, where people from all religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds would live in peace and harmony, as envisioned by our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Ambassador Islam said Bangabandhu's daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has remained steadfast to uphold the secular and progressive ethos of the Bengali society, and her party Awami League has been a constant bulwark against the religious extremism in the society.
The key attraction of the program was a spectacular cultural show which highlighted some distinct aspects of celebration of Bangla New Year and Eid-ul-Fitr. Four US State Department Officers recited poems and rhymes in Bangla in the cultural function which ended with performing of songs by noted Bangladeshi singer Anila Chowdhury.
As part of the celebration, a "Mangal Shobhajatra" was brought out from the chancery premises. The traditional procession ended at the same place after parading the nearby street of the Embassy. Traditional Bangladeshi food items were served at the end of the programme which was highly appreciated by the foreign guests.