On the Eve of
Ashim Kumar Paul
THE culture and heritage of Bangladesh have a long tradition in the social, economic and above all national context. They represent the bond that touches every heart of its people. Among the local and national festivities, Pahela Baishakh curves out its idiosyncratic sketch in the lives of the people of the country. In other words, Pahela Baishakh every year adds new colour, taste, fervour and inspiration to lead our life with renewed spirit.
However, it is noticeable that Pahela Baishakh is observed in Bangladesh with much more enthusiasm than any other national festival. Truly, it is a festival of the people from all walks of life. People of different religions, caste, culture, age, and political belief welcome the new day of the first month of Bangla year. Wearing new dresses and having Panta-Ilish, a traditional food of the country, are the age-old traditions of the day.
To make the day memorable as well as delightful, different social and cultural organisations feature various colourful events like Baishakhi Mela, cultural sessions and morning rallies. Of them, Baishakhi Mela is the embodiment of a social as well as cultural throng where different types of local and national traditional programmes like puppet show, nagordola etc are displayed.
Besides, Pahela Baishakh to the common people comes with a different kind of significance. The day epitomises the strong unity, warm brotherhood and above all a patriotic sense of love for their own culture and heritage. It is often argued that the young minds are now more inclined towards the western culture through the aggression of satellite culture, virtual web etc., and that they are showing a lack of interest in their own culture, tradition and heritage. But such notions do not often tell the whole truth. Those who raise these objections are perhaps not familiar with the festive mood of the national festivals, celebrated earnestly by the young generation.
Pahela Baishakh comes back to remove the debris of the past year, and to welcome all that is pure. As the day is a symbol of our national unity, amalgamation of our young minds and a display of our cultural heritage, the progress of our country cannot be far away from the desired goal. In fact, the appeal of Pahela Baishakh goes across the country with the renewed pledge to say goodbye to poverty, corruption and fundamentalism.