Journey Through Bangladesh
Monu River Sees One More
Boat Race on its Back
An attractive 'Boat Race' competition was held at the river Monu in Moulvibazar district town on September 10. Both banks of the Monu river were over crowded by thousands of enthusiastic spectators from all walks of life. People had taken to audience on roof tops of the river-side buildings of the town. Many people had also raided on small boats and engine run boats to witness the Boat Race.
The Moulvibazar town was built by the banks of the Monu river in 1912. This river originates from Tripura hill of India. In recent years, the river has been termed as a 'dead river' for lack of normal water flow. As a result, the traditional boat race, a source of amusement for the rural people, is gradually on the decline and is losing its popularity. Due to heavy rain this year, life has returned to the heart of the river making it flow strong again. The Moulvibazar District Sport Association (DSA) was ecstatic with this development and had taken up the initiative to reinvigorate the tradition of racing boats on the river. Once again, as it was in the past, different people from all over the district had gathered on either sides of the bank in throngs to participate and revive the age old tradition on 10 September 2011.
Race boats and the riders appear in colourful painting and costumes
A total of seven boats had participated in the races that day. They were not only colorful in appearance, but were also colorful in names. 'Jol Paban' was the winning boat and had fared from the Jagannath Upazila of the Sunamganj District. 'Betir Nouka' came in second. This boat had a little history attached to its name. 'Beti' was a term used to name an expatriate lady from London during the English rule of the sub-continent. 'Uluayil er Nouka' came third in the competition. Amongst the others that participated were 'Moyurponkhi', 'Ponkhiraj', and 'Oggyan Thakur'.
The Chief Whip, MA Shahid MP, was present and had distributed the prizes among the winners as the Chief Guest of the event. The Moulvibazar DC Md. Mostafizur Rahman, SP Harunur Rashid, and ex-MP Md. Azizur Rahman were also present among others in the prize giving function. It was a true treat for all present to see such an ancient tradition alive again and the spectators returned with a lot of satisfaction from the banks of the Monu.
(R) thedailystar.net 2011