Bangladesh has a rich folk tradition embracing several branches of the arts such as, poetry, music, songs, plays, tales and humorous sketches. Different regions of the country display different traits both in respect of theme and style or manner of presentation. This variety adds to the richness of the country's folk culture. The songs of Sylhet's Hason Raja are permeated by a mystic overtone as are the songs of Kushtia's Lalon Shah while the Bhatiali songs of the boatmen of northern Bangladesh vibrate with the overtones of a tender melancholy. At the same time northern Bangladesh has two entertaining folk forms called Gambhira and Alkap which are full of jokes and lighthearted banter. One of the entertaining features of Gambhira and Alkap is the language, the regional dialect of Rajshahi, in which they are presented and which is almost untranslatable. In this issue we introduce to our readers the folk form of 'Alkap'. We think our readers will enjoy this presentation.In 'Journey through Bangladesh' one of our Readers' Club members writes about a simple incident, but one that directs our attention to a basic problem of existence for many of us today, the price hike of essentials things in our day to day life. The stories in the 'She' section in this issue, as in the earlier issue, show us the range of area that our women, both urban and rural, are choosing to work in. Also noticeable is that all these women are working with the support of their families although some of them had initially faced resistance from the society. The 'Story' in this issue is from the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen. The two hundredth birth anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen, the magical story-teller whose stories and fairy tales have fascinated readers of all ages for over one and a half century, was celebrated through out the world last year. A story can give us information while it entertains us. There is more to reading than just understanding words. We hope the stories in 'Star Insight' would help develop a keener insight in our Readers' Club members about life, as well as various styles of writing in English.
Advisory Editor, Star Insight
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