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Call for building non-communal Bangladesh

Pahela Baishakh celebrated

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 16 April, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Call for building non-communal Bangladesh
Students of the Faculty of Fine Art at Dhaka University bring out ‘Mangal Shobhajatra’ on Thursday to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year. – Md nasir uddin

Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year 1429, was celebrated across the country on Thursday with a vow to build Bangladesh free from communalism, fundamentalism, and inequality.

On the return of the social celebration of Pahela Baishakh after an unexpected break of two years, thousands of people, irrespective of their caste, creed, and religion, gathered at different historic spots and vowed to uphold the Bengali tradition and culture.

In traditional dresses such as red and white punjabis, sarees, and salwar kameez, they attended different programmes in a cheerful atmosphere and passed time with their near and dear ones. Even so, they did not feel exhausted amid the scorching heat and some restrictions.

The festivities began at dawn with the artistes from Chhayanaut welcoming the day with an instrumental performance followed by Tagore song ‘Mon, jago mongololoke’ at the Ramna Batamul in the capital.

Apart from Tagore songs, they performed pancha kobir gaan, traditional folk songs, and poetry recitation.

Thousands of people gathered at Ramna to enjoy the programme and reaffirm the unity of a nation whose social, cultural, and religious tapestry is woven by diverse threads.

While watching the programme at Ramna Batamul, Mahbubur Rahman, a retired banker, said that once he brought his children to this programme to inspire them to feel proud of Bangali tradition and culture, but this time his children brought him to Chhayanaut’s flagship curtain-raising event.

"Every time I come to celebrate Bangla Nababarsha here. I feel proud to think of who I am. I take pride in my culture and tradition and always feel an urge to make the new generation understand the importance of building a non-communal Bangladesh," he said.

People from all walks of life thronged Dhaka University campus as Mangal Shobhajatra, a colourful procession featuring evocative masks, floats, and motifs of Bangalee culture, kicked off from TSC at 9:00 am following the conclusion of Chhayanaut’s programme.

The march was led by the university’s Vice-Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman. It paraded down the street from the TSC to Nilkhet instead of taking the usual Shahbagh-TSC route due to ongoing construction work of the metro rail project.

"We are expressing our firm conviction to build a humane and non-communal society. May the bond of harmony between people be strong. Our expectation in 1429 is to get rid of any kind of evil forces," said Akhtaruzzaman.

Dressed in Boishakh attire, people held colourful masks in their hands and danced to the rhythm of drums.

This year’s procession featured five motifs, represented by a large-scale replica of a horse alongside other handcrafted clay figurines and traditional artefacts, all of which were crafted by artisans under the guidance of students.

Marking the first day of the Bangla New Year, Bangla Academy on Thursday morning organised a colourful programme on its premises where the country’s renowned writers, publishers, and cultural enthusiasts were present.

Like all other pre-pandemic years, Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi arranged a programme in front of the Shishu Park at Shahbagh. It was the first Baishakhi programme of the famous cultural organisation without its founder, the renowned artiste Fakir Alamgir, who died last year.

Celebrated singers Rafiqul Alam, Fakir Shabuddin, Abu Bakar Siddik performed there. The programme concluded at 11:30 am.

Numerous programmes and fairs were organised and Mangal Shobhajatras were brought out, marking the Pahela Baishakh across the country, where people from different strata took part.

In social gatherings, there was no arrangement of special food items, as this year the celebration of Pahela Baishakh coincided with Ramadan.

Besides, traders arranged halkhata programme across the country where customers paid their dues and traders entertained them with sweetmeats.