Beyond Red and White
A year has gone by since we faced the month of heat waves during the day, along with the rain and strong breeze, that we call the Baishakhi jhor. Nothing describes the coming of the Bengali New Year as much as everyone adorning themselves in red and white. While the girls on campus prefer to wear the shada shari laal paar (white sari with the red border), boys in colourful panjabis and kurtas. Flowers in their hair, alpona (designs made with a special paint) done on the face, the ever-so-famous red teep and kancher churi (glass bangles) of every colour, Pahela Boishakh is a display of colours and ethnicity combined.
With 'what are you doing on the 14th?' at the tip of everyone's tongue, before one makes big celebration plans, one is provoked to first think of how to dress as deshi as possible for the day.
Girls on campus, all over Dhaka city, will be thinking of wearing the shada shari laal paar which has been a part of our tradition for years and even today, it brings out the 'Bangali' in you. There are some youngsters, however, who prefer to wear any colour, as long as it is a sari. On the other hand, a lot of girls are turning to red and white kameezes as all the high-end designers are coming up with the newest designed kameezes in red and white particularly for this day.
A blend of the contemporary and conventional jewellery that fit Pahela Boishakh. Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
Mahin Muhiba Haque, a student of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of North South University has some extraordinary plans for this Boishakh. "I live in a building where the neighbours are not very close to each other. So this is the one day we all get together. We all go to the rooftop, dressed in our best attires and eat traditional Bengali food. We just relax and listen to Rabindro shangeet," she says. "I am excited about wearing my new white sari that I bought and the new jewellery I got from Jatra. I love their accessories!" On the other hand, Abrar Hasan, a medical student of Ibrahim Medical College has more of an 'outdoorsy' plan for this Pahela Boishakh. “I am planning on having breakfast at home with my family. I love the whole panta bhaat and ilish maach idea. I am also planning to go to Charukola for the mela with a few of my university friends,” says Hasan in the utmost excitement. “As for clothes, I am going to try and get a new panjabi from Kaykraft or Trendz since I shop there most of the times."
Accessories play a big role in this occasion. To get the most authentic look, jewellery made of clay, wood and ceramic are the things for you. Jatra is a perfect blend of strong fashion statements and ethnicity. Different necklaces, pendants made of clay that will make you look 'out of the box' and eye-catching, yet pleasant and traditional all ranging between Tk 250-500. Bangles -- wooden or what is known as reshmi bangles (glass) are also available here. Apart from jewellary, sandals are always something that Jatra makes sure are uncommon. The famous rickshaw print sandals are completely worth the Tk 450 that you will spend on it. Apart from that, other footwear with traditional designs is available at reasonable prices between Tk 450-700. Footwear for men is also available in the same prices and is also just as unique as you would want them to be.
Students enjoying an outing on Pahela Boishakh. Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
As they say, big things come in small packages and Piran is a perfect example. Oozing culture and tradition, Piran offers you the most authentic pieces of jewellery, bags, and clothing, whatever you will need to look absolutely 'Bangali.' They have earrings and necklaces and also…both in a set! You can find exactly what you're looking for with a budget of Tk 500. With earrings ranging from Tk. 30 to Tk. 150, the necklaces are also priced depending on the intricacy of work done on them and their size. Bangles, rings and the whole enchilada- Piran will give you what you're looking for this Pahela Boishakh.
Idea is also another store making it big when it comes to jewellary. Clay and wooden accessories ranging from Tk 200-500, Idea can give everything that is 'in' in the fashion scene today. You will find anything to perfectly mix and match with your clothes for the big day.
Apart from the high-end stores, there are more in Aziz super market. Stores like Vertical or Shape and Form will give you anything 'artsy' you're looking for. Big, small, cliché or not, it is all there. Prices from Tk 150- 500, these stores are bound to have a variety. They have jewellery specifically made just for Pahela Boishakh coloured red and white to be a perfect match for your outfit. Shape and Form has red and white wooden bangles to offer, which are quite unique and cannot be found anywhere else.
The streets of new market will give a collection to die for with prices reasonable enough for you to buy more than you need. Apart from just jewellery -- belts, wallets and a lot more are found all across new market to give you an option big enough for an occasion as special as this.
Who says you have to spend a fortune when it comes to dressing up for Pahela Boishakh? To all the students who plan to have the time of their lives on campus, just be creative and shop before hand so that you can save time and a lot of money.