Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 15, Tuesday, April 12, 2011





Sometimes there's nothing you can do other than get angry. Traffic isn't moving fast enough or at all. The line at the bank isn't moving fast enough. The download bar isn't moving fast enough. But your heart rate sure is. Can you do anything about it other than get angry? Just let it go! There are times when you have to accept that there's simply nothing to do about what's bugging you. You can't control someone else. You can't stop the lecturer in his 3 hour long speech on the word 'modality'. You let it go. Forgive. Some people or situations just can't help but be irritating.

By E R Ronny



The first day of Boishakh is just two days away and everybody around the country is preparing to welcome yet another Bengali New Year.

Everyone is familiar with the various activities that usually define a typical Boishakh, starting from fairs to the musical soiree at the Ramna Batomul, from the panta ilish to the red and white colours all over the city. These are the activities that define Boishakh for the people in Bangladesh. However, for business people and businesses something else also defines Boishakh -- Halkhata.

Ever wondered why all the shops in the city remain open on Pohela Boishakh despite it being a government holiday? This is because every business in Bangladesh closes its old account books and starts a new one for the new year on that day; this is known as Halkhata.

The custom of Halkhata was initiated by Mughal emperor Akbar. During his time he faced problems in collecting taxes from farmers as they followed the lunar calendar, which did not match with the harvest cycle.

Thus, on his orders a calendar was created that started on the first day of summer so as to coincide with the harvest system, which ensured that farmers had money in their hands as that was the time farmers completed their harvest for the season. Now known as Bangabdo, this calendar system is dated back to the 1500s.

This custom has evolved and become an occasion to celebrate. Even businesses who do not make credit transactions celebrate this as it is an event unique to business. This custom is also an attempt to better relationships with clients.

Jewellers especially celebrate this custom with much vigour in order to strengthen relationships with customers and to show new items. Businessmen of Puran Dhaka also perform and celebrate Halkhata avidly.

By Karishma Ameen


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