in the Modern Society
month, the largest transaction of money probably took place
at the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF). Year by year,
DITF has gained international recognition and reputation as
a profitable venture. The people of Dhaka are amongst the hardest
of workers and the fruit of such labour is money. And what better
way to spend money than at a trade fair. That is why we see
that every year, there are some new countries participating
in the event, along with the familiar rest.
is the 10th Dhaka International Trade Fair which started on
January 1 and will continue throughout this month. There are
about 20 countries, including host Bangladesh taking part in
the event. There are over 400 local and foreign pavilions and
stalls in this year's event, with more than 300 being stalls.
Foreign stalls include stalls from US, Japan, Germany, Hong
Kong, India, Switzerland, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, Russia,
Singapore and many other exotic countries. With most Bangladeshis
not being able to afford the luxuries of travelling abroad,
this is one event where they can roam the magical streets of
Thailand or see precious stones and art works from Iran and
Pakistan or even taste the delicacies of lands they simply see
on National Geographic.
the moment you enter the parking lot, you can start to comprehend
the amount of visitors it gets, but as soon as you enter the
fair you will see that the volume of the crowd is rather thin.
The simple explanation is the vastness of the fair ground.
though security is always a problem, this year, the DITF authorities
have taken stern actions to prevent any mishaps from happening
in the fair grounds. Apart from a number of policemen going
about, both enjoying the fair as well as keeping a lookout for
troublemakers, policemen with guard dogs have also been introduced
so that any illegal items that do not meet the eye can be met
with the nose.
of the foreign shops are decorated with things that reflect
the shop's origin. Artisti has their new line of shirts and
ties while Siemens Mobile is showing their line of cellular
phones and all the packages that they are currently providing.
Gulbaft Sonali Indian Ltd. caters mainly to those interested
in glass jewellery and 'fresh dates'. Thai Wonder Mop was a
unique shop that only dealt with, what else, mops. There were
mops for every possible use, starting with dusters to sophisticated
mops for cleaning floors as well as the ceiling. Nizam Enterprise,
with their range of vase, chandeliers and plastic flowers, probably
had the most expensive vase for sale at Tk.68,500. For some
reason at that point, I lost all interest in buying a vase.
Banani Textiles was a sight of relief because it catered to
those interested in traditional tribal clothes and handicrafts
some familiar old names were Miyako, from Japan with mostly
foreigners crowding the entrance to the shop. Revlon Personi,
Jordana and a host of others are there to enhance the youth
and splendour of the ladies, though quite a large number of
men were also crowding the shops. One of the interesting 'sights'
to visit was the Thailand Pavilion that had their own realm
of shops, all in the same boundary. Starting from Thai Airways,
there were numerous shops -- selling flowers, jewellery, chandeliers,
food, electronic appliances, beauty products -- all from Thailand.
The music and fragrance added to the surroundings and it was
almost as if you were in Thailand in person, shopping, of course!
were a host of electronic shops too, with Transcom Electronics
having quite an architecturally advanced structure, much like
their product line. Starting from the common iron, to the most
advanced television and DVD player, this is where one must come
for all their electronic needs. It has world famous brands under
its name such as Philips, Whirlpool and more.
home appliances are never enough for people, there are about
20 different shops attending to those starting a new home, as
well as to those who are in dire need of changing their burnt
pots and pans. Home Needs is one such shop with a lot of small
everyday kitchen and household gadgets. Delhi Aluminium is such
a shop with a large quantity of pots and pans in every possible
size. Bangladesh Handloom Board has two stalls at this fair,
selling mostly sarees, judging from the crowd of ladies flocking
there. Faber Castell from Germany has their stationery shop
situated in a convenient corner. Starting from pencils and erasers
to more complicated architecture 'devices', this shop is a haven
for all those interested in putting a little colour into their
brands and ventures included Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Tanin, Fantasy
Kingdom, etc., all of whom have their respective little pavilions
and distinctive decorations.
Bastro Bitan, Mehedi, Boishabe and a large number of stalls
are catering to the fashion needs of the people while there
are bed and cushion shops too to give the drawing room a final
touch. Pakistan Art Gallery is selling wooden furniture and
has little to do with art. Other popular furniture stalls include
Otobi, Navana and many more. Golden Teak, a pavilion selling
furniture, has a wonderful outlook and has door designs all
around the top floor instead of walls. These are vast number
of food stalls conveniently located all over the fair, serving
mainly light items, such as chatpati, muglai parata and
is a wide range of activities -- whether you like simply browsing,
gazing at the scenery, or just enjoying the company of hoards
of people or -- this fair offers a treat for everyone. Young
and old alike, this fair gets a swarm of people who come from
near and far, simply because this is one event everyone can
be a part of .
Photo by Imran H Khan