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  Volume 3 | Issue 15 | April 17, 2011 |


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Campus Celebrations

Naziba Basher

Photo Courtesy :Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

"Nabo anonde jago, aaji nabo robikirone, shubhro shundaro preeti ujjalo nirmalo jeebone”
(Rise to the new joy, to the new rays of light, to the shining
beauty of a perfect life)

Victory day, Independence Day, Eid, Mother Language day, Pahela Falgun -- Bangladeshis have more than enough reasons to celebrate throughout the whole year. But what makes each year special is the mark of its beginning. Pahela Boishakh holds a special place in every Bangali's heart and mind and when it comes to celebrating, we don't hold back the least bit.

December 31, of course, is celebrated by the whole world with mid-night parties, cocktail dresses, sheesha lounges and loud music. '31st parties' are always the 'in' thing among all the young people and students. But just wait till April hits and you will see a whole new side to each and every Bangladeshi youngster around the world. The day starts off with pantha bhaat and elish maach in the morning, followed by Rabindranath's 'Esho hey boishakh' during a cosy afternoon at Romna Botomul and then the rest of the day with fleeting shada and laal at every corner with everyone's mind lost in the daze of Boishakh.

Fine Arts students preparing for the big day.

Hand made decoratives by students.
Displaying the hand made masks.

Students from all across the country, dressed in red and white, roamed the streets as the year began. With utmost joy and a sense of celebration, the country, like always, thumped with excitement. Young or old, everybody had plans for this fun-filled day.

Whether it is the heat and humidity or the undying traffic in Dhaka City, nothing will stop one from leaving one's home with a smile on one's face, not forgetting to adorn oneself with all the Bengali traditions, starting from clothes, jewellery to food, showcasing the enthusiasm felt while celebrating our very own New Year.

The streets were filled with music everywhere -- Rabi Thakur, Lalon Shah or Dukhu Miah -- anything and everything set the mood of Boishakh last weekend.

As celebrations went on for an entire day, students in different universities celebrated in their own ways, taking a day off from all the hectic studies and assignments and just letting go and diving into 'Naba Barsho'(New Year) celebrations.

Students painting the campus walls of charukola.

Independant University Bangladesh (IUB) had a treat for its students, this time, kicking off with what is known as the 'Mangaljatra' (rally) organised by the Art Club. The rally started at 8.30 in the morning, as students danced and rallied around the campus welcoming the New Year. It was like a wave of colours passing by as the students all gracefully swayed to the music. The cultural programme, organised by the Student Affairs division, that took place after the rally, consisted of songs and dances and was an absolute treat for anyone who was a witness. There was also a special drama for Boishakh organised by the IUB Theatre. That was only the first part of their plans as said by Kazi Faruque Ahmed, Senior Manager, Student Affairs. In the second part, Prof. Omar Rahman, Vice Chancellor in-charge, started off with a speech for all the students. As soon as he finished his New Year greetings, around 15-20 stalls were officially inaugurated and began their activities. From chotpoti and phuchka to matir goyna (earthen jewellery), the stalls had absolutely everything needed to get into the feel of Boishakh.

Students gather to combine their efforts to decorate the campus.

The day, of course, did not end there, as many students finished celebrations on campus and went off to the other areas in Dhaka city where Boishakh was being celebrated rampantly.

Delicious Boishakh munchies for the students.

When it comes to celebrating outside campus, the people to turn to are most definitely the students of North South University. Since they have to face their semester finals in the month of April, it gets a little tough for them to arrange a show for the students during all the exam preparations. Tonmoy Shaha Turjo, a student of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering at North South University and a senior member of the Shangskritik Shongothon (NSUSS) had a big group of friends and fellow students walking the streets of Dhaka, witnessing the enthusiasm and colours on the streets. “Everyone in NSUSS is very close to each other. So, every year even if we do not have anything planned, we end up meeting and spending time mostly in Chaurkola.” Since, Dhaka University's Charukola is the ultimate hub of Boishakh lovers, Tonmoy goes there every year to find his classmates already laughing and painting their faces. “We usually go there to ride the Nagordola, we watch the putul naach (puppet dance), and get our faces painted in the Boishakhi colours. Sometimes we also end up seeing the seniors of the club in Charukola. It is great fun meeting everyone without having anything planned!” says Tonmoy. At the end of it all an “ajke amar bashae lunch!” (lunch at my place!) takes spontaneity to a different level. The rest of the day the friends gather at someone's house and celebrate with the family, feasting on all the Boishakh delicacies.

Youngsters get their face painted in Boishakh colors.

But unlike North South University, University of Liberal Arts (ULAB) had big plans to welcome the year 1418 but was celebrated on April 16. ULAB has plans for a bigger campus located in Ramchandrapur. This new year, for them, was celebrated in that location. ULAB's cultural club had a cultural show organised with songs and dances, while the sports club thought of things a little 'outside the box'. There was a friendly football match between the faculty and the

Getting all the masks painted for Naba Borsho celebrations.

administration department. And then when you think it couldn't get any more unique, the sports club even arranged a game of cricket just for the ladies of ULAB. Promiti Prova Chowdhury, studying Media Studies and Journalism in ULAB, spoke about the various stalls that were put up on campus as well, which had their own exclusive items to be showcased and eventually sold. The business club had managed the event and the MBA club had taken care of the food, while the whole university combined their efforts to pull off a great show.

Everyone taking part in preperations.
The busy bees working hard for the celebrations.
Young friends spending Pahela Boishakh together.

Every university has a little something to offer to everybody. Every year on April 14, there are busy bees running around trying to make the best out of this cherished day. And when it comes to working hard, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) never lags behind. With the hardest of workers in the Architecture department that includes Sumaiya Mehjabeen Moulee, BUET had arranged a show which swept everyone off their feet. Of course, nobody could miss out on the rally that included their own hand-made mascots and masks. Phanushes (flying lanterns) were flown to colour the sky by the students, as the rally danced around the university with the utmost amount of joy. As per BUET's traditions, a cultural show was something expected by all, filled with songs, dances and dramas -- the show was absolute magic. Face painting was done for all the students who also got Boishakh munchies all around the campus in the stalls.

Clearly, the New Year or the Naba Barsha is celebrated vibrantly all over the country. But no one can portray the traditions better than the students of Fine Arts of Dhaka University or popularly known as Charukola. How do rallies with life sized paper mached and folded mascots of colourful animals, hand painted pottery, puppet dance combined with pantha bhaat and elish maach sound to you? Perfect, isn't it? But that isn't all. There are humble and proud students of Charukola representing their university for one of the biggest events of the year as they sit at every corner either painting the faces in the Boishakh colours for their guests or drawing unforgettable portraits for them. The university walls can never go unnoticed as the students paint them every year with a new theme.

As the young students start off the month of Boishakh with colours, music and dances, one can only hope that they let go off their past to relish the new memories built, with friends and family.


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