The first-ever Indian transgender woman recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award and noted Bharatanatyam guru, Dr Narthaki Nataraj, was honoured here on Friday.
Bandhu Social Welfare Society, a Bangladeshi charity and community-based organization, arranged the felicitation ceremony at the main auditorium of the National Museum in honour of the dancer who received Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2019.
UNDP Country Director Sudipto Mukherjee handed over the crest of honour at the ceremony to the dancer. Bandhu Social Welfare Society Chairperson Anisul Islam Hero and Executive Director Saleh Ahmed were also present on the occasion.
Dr Narthaki presented a dance performance at the event and expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the organisers and people of Bangladesh.
Bandhu’s transgender community dance group, “Shatta’ (Essence of Soul), also performed at the ceremony.
Born in Tamil Nadu, India, Dr Narthaki Natarah became the first-ever transgender woman in the world to receive a top civilian award, after being felicitated with the Padma Shri in 2019. She received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Periyar Maniammai University, India in 2016.
Honouring her legacy and career as an icon empowering the marginalised transgender community, Tamil Nadu School Education Department introduced a lesson about Nataraj in the Tamil textbook for Plus One (11th Standard) students in 2018.
A total of 155 new titles hit the month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair on the 26th day on Thursday.
With these, some 4,394 new books have so far been published in this year’s book fair, according to Bangla Academy.
Of the new books, 19 are novels, 52 poetry volumes, 20 stories and nine essays.
Books on research (10), rhyme (1), children literature (5), biography (11), Liberation War (1), science (1), travelogue (2), history (1), medicine and health (4), Bangabandhu (2), science fiction (1) and others (7) were also published on Thursday.
Publishers from across the country are exhibiting a huge number of books on different issues while Bangla Academy is exhibiting 104 newly printed and reprinted books this year.
This year, the land earmarked for the fair was expanded to 800,000 sq ft. A total of 873 units were allocated to 560 organisations. The authorities have allotted 179 units at the Bangla Academy ground to 126 organisatons and 694 at the Suhrawardy Udyan to 694 organisations.
Eminent economist, former Governor of Bangladesh Bank and Bangabandhu Chair Professor of Dhaka University Dr Atiur Rahman said he will continue inspiring the young generation through enlightening them more about the life and works of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“The fascinating fact about our youth of Bangladesh is that they are eager to learn about Bangabandhu’s politics, his life, work and philosophy – who himself was an institution. I want to continue working to quench their thirst to learn about Bangabandhu,” Dr Atiur said at the launching event of his new book titled ‘Bangabandhu Bangladesher Proticchobi’ at Unnayan Shamannay conference room, Banglamotor in the capital.
“While I am entitled to help our youth to discover Bangabandhu in new lights, at the same time I want to enlighten the readers of West Bengal too about Bangabandhu,” he said about his new book.
Jointly published by Gourob Publishers from Dhaka and Sampark Publishers from Kolkata, the book was inaugurated by eminent cultural personality Syed Hasan Imam and renowned folklore researcher and Chairman of the board of trustees of Bangladesh National Museum, Shamsuzzaman Khan.
“Dr. Atiur has successfully presented an objective review of the life and works of Bangabandhu in this book. Such research-based works are of critical importance to ensure that Bangabandhu is rightly presented to the masses,” Syed Hasan Imam said on Dr Atiur’s new publication.
Shamsuzzaman Khan said that the book will fill the void of not having quality books written on Bangabandhu to a significant extent.
“This book, on the one hand, will meet the demands of the researchers - and on the other hand, will be able to cater to the demand of the general readers,” he said at the launching event.
Sunandan Roy Choudhury from Sampark Publishers, S. M. Iftekhar Mahmud from Gourob Publishers, researchers, intellectuals and journalists also attended the book launching ceremony, among others.
The four-day ‘3rd Art Festival 2020, Nilphamari’ began on the bank of famous dighi (large pond) Nilsagar in Nilphamari district on Wednesday.
However, the festival will officially be inaugurated on Thursday.
Visiting the venue, it was found that the participants were registering their names on the first day.
The venue was decorated in a colourful way with an attractive stage for the formal inauguration. Artists were also found busy for the last-minute preparations.
Some 200 students of different schools in the district also gathered at a local school in the morning adjacent to the venue to meet potential and prominent artists coming from different parts of the country and abroad, learn from them and exchange their experience with them.
The participating foreign artists along with the local ones have already arrived in the district to attend the programme.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid will be present at the formal opening ceremony as the chief guest.
Eminent artist Prof Rafiqun Nabi will inaugurate the festival while cultural personality Asaduzzaman Noor will preside over the programme.
Eminent artist Prof Mohammad Eunus is the convener of the festival organising committee while award-winning artist Md Harun-Ar-Rashid Tutul, an assistant professor at the Graphic Design department of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Art, is its curator.
Tutul said the international art camp will be a lifetime great experience for the school-going artists.
They can also experience the way of painting of the prominent artists directly which will motivate them.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Nature is Life, Art for Brighter Life’.
Artists will paint as they like while organisers will provide them with art supplies, food and accommodation.
The festival will feature an international art camp by eminent artists from Bangladesh and beyond, art exhibitions, curated art projects, artist's talk, seminar, cultural programmes, traditional folk art and craft fair, installation, campfire and sightseeing tours.
An exhibition will be held on February 29 while another exhibition of the same paintings will be arranged from April 24 to April 30.
The organisers said the main goal is to introduce a healthy culture against the backdrop of poor taste, from cities to the remote countryside of Bangladesh, travelling beyond the realms of time.
The art festival aims to inspire artists to create innovative artworks, in a quiet place beyond the chaotic city life. Renowned artists from home and abroad will share their experiences and views on art with school students during the event, they said.
The mega event will end with an exclusive exhibition of the paintings of the participants on February 29.
‘Jatiya Pitha Utsab-1426’ (National Rice Cake Festival) began on the premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) in the capital on Sunday.
Jatiya Pitha Utsab Udjapan Parishad (Committee for National Cake Festival Celebration), alongside BSA, have jointly organised the festival to delight the city dwellers with the unbeatable tastes of traditional pithas (rice cakes).
Started back in January, 2008 for the first time- this year marks the 13th edition of this annual festival.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid inaugurated the 10-day festival as the Chief Guest. Honorary President of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) Ramendu Majumdar, ‘Mancha Sarathi’-famed veteran theatre activist Ataur Rahman, Bangladesh Nritya Shilpi Sangstha President Minu Haque attended the inaugural ceremony as the special guests, among others.
Presided over by the BSA DG Liaquat Ali Lucky- who filled the role of Convenor of the committee overlooking the arrangement of the festival, the inauguration ceremony was also attended by the committee’s president, M Hamid, who was the main speaker at the event, while member secretary Khandakar Shah Alam and BSA Secretary Badrul Anam Bhuiyan delivered welcome speeches.
“The winter season in Bangladesh is unimaginable without Pitha- a food item which gradually has become a part of the urban life as well in recent years. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs is glad to be associated with this festival and the organizers deserve applause for regularly arranging the yearly festival,” K M Khalid said in his speech.
Following the inauguration, a cultural programme was arranged where artistes entertained the audience with traditional songs, dance recitals and recitation. The cultural programme will continue every evening for the length of the festival.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Square Food & Beverage Limited (SFBL) are jointly sponsoring this year’s festival.
Generally held in January every year, the 13th edition had to be delayed because of the DNCC and DSCC Elections, said the organizers.
With a total of 50 stalls representing 40 districts of Bangladesh, the 13th edition of this annual festival featuring approximately 200 types of Pithas (cakes) at BSA premises from 3 pm to 9 pm till March 3, 2020.