Vol. 5 Num 256 Mon. February 14, 2005  
Front Page

Spring brings festive mood to Dhaka

Singing and dancing and screening of films featuring Bangla culture gave the sprawling grounds in and around Dhaka University a festive look yesterday amid a twin-celebration of spring and Saraswati Puja.

The hilarious human mood matched with nature that also put forth a fresh look with trees coming into new foliage and flowers and cuckoos cooing to hail the advent of spring.

Yesterday was the first of Falgun on Bangla Calendar, the beginning of a two-month season of Basanta traditionally hailed by people in this area through festivity.

Students and teachers also observed the Saraswati Puja as a religious festival mainly at Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University. Female students also organised religious and cultural programmes in their respective DU dorms.

The season of life has another dimension -- it puts an end to shivers of winter and brings a great relief to the poor who are exposed to wintry chill.

Eleventh Basanta Utsab-1411 was observed on the DU campus.

With daybreak, Jatiya Basanta Utsab Udjapan Parishad (national spring festival celebration committee) came up with a daylong cultural programme to celebrate the day at Bakul Tala on Institute of Fine Arts compound.

The slogan of the festival was Eso Mili Praner Utsabe. It started off with playing sitar by Samir Das -- perfectly in tune with the serene, breezy spring morning.

Both males and females, draped in colourful dresses, came out on the campus from the DU halls and elsewhere to enjoy the spring pageantry. Women wore green-and-yellow saris and decorated themselves with yellowish flowers.

The organisers and participants of the ceremony also brought out a rally -- Basanta Shovajatra -- from the fine arts institute compound at 11:00am.

Leading luminaries of music, recitation, dance and other cultural areas performed at the ceremony. Among them were Mita Haque, Shahin Samad, Rejwana Chowdhury Bonna, Shimul Mustafa, Sharmeen Sathi Myna, Vaskar Bandapadhay and Kazi Arif.

This year, participation in the Basanta Utsab seemed to be lower than that of previous years. Sharmin Akhter Lata, a third-year student of philosophy, said: "Maybe many didn't appear today for their security concern due to recent spate of bomb attacks on jatra shows and other programmes."

Poet Shamsur Rahman, play-actors Asaduzzaman Noor, Ali Zaker, Ramendu Majumder and many other celebrities were expected to join the revellers in the afternoon.

At Jagannath Hall, almost every department put up stalls and built images of Mother Saraswati and worshiped her. Students and teachers irrespective of all religious faiths took part in their religious and cultural programmes.

Various cultural programmes highlighting the puja continue today.

The Hindus, mainly in southern India, believe Mother Saraswati is the goddess of vidya (knowledge). Traditionally, the Hindus worship to please her so that she blesses them with vidya.

Meantime, Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) screened Bangla films at the TSC auditorium for the second day of its nine-day programme.

With the slogan Sound Film, Sound Audience, DUFS is to project 28 famous Bangla films at the function, inaugurated Saturday by DU Vice-chancellor SMA Faiz.

All these cultural carnivals added to the fervour of ongoing month-long book fair on Bangla Academy premises in commemoration of the language martyrs.