Dhaka, Oct 25 (UNB) - The prestigious Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony 2015 will soon be conferred upon Chhayanaut, a cultural organisation of Bangladesh.
The jury under the chairmanship of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unanimously decided to select Chhayanaut to be the recipient of the Tagore Award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to cultural harmony, according to Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor thanked the Indian government calling it a recognition for all the Tagore lovers of Bangladesh.
Established in 1961, Chhayanaut has played a leading role in promoting Tagore’s works and Bengali culture, music and literature not only within Bangladesh, but also all across the world.
It has built a close bridge of understanding and cultural exchange between Bangladesh and India, especially West Bengal.
Chhayanaut was part of the movement for an independent Bangladesh and provided a platform for cultural expression and assertion of Bengali identity.
When Rabindra Sangeet was banned in East Pakistan, Chhayanaut continued to promote liberal expression through secret renditions of Tagore songs and discussions on Tagore.
The jury's decision recognises the contribution of the organisation in upholding the liberal progressive tradition of universal humanism of Gurudev and in promoting the spirit of cultural harmony.
The annual award was instituted by the government of India during the commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
The first Tagore Award was conferred upon Ravi Shankar, the Indian Sitar Maestro in 2012 and second was conferred on Shri Zubin Mehta in 2013.
The award carries an amount of Rs 1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft, handloom item.
The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.
Los Angeles, Oct 24 (AP/UNB) — "To Kill a Mockingbird," a coming-of-age story about racism and injustice, overcame wizards and time travelers to be voted America's best-loved novel by readers nationwide.
The 1961 book by Harper Lee emerged as No. 1 in PBS' "The Great American Read" survey, whose results were announced Tuesday on the show's finale. More than 4 million votes were cast in the six-month-long contest that put 100 titles to the test. Books that were published as a series were counted as a single entry.
The other top-five finishers in order of votes were Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series about a time-spanning love; J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" boy wizard tales; Jane Austen's romance "Pride and Prejudice," and J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" fantasy saga.
Lee's slender, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel proved enduring enough to overcome the popularity of hefty epics adapted as blockbuster movie franchises (the Potter and Tolkien works) or for TV ("Outlander").
Even "Pride & Prejudice," the 200-year-old inspiration for numerous TV and movie versions and with an army of "Janeites" devoted to Austen and her work, couldn't best Harper's novel.
It's been more than five decades since the film based on "To Kill a Mockingbird" debuted, winning three Oscars, including a best-actor trophy for Gregory Peck's portrayal of attorney Atticus Finch.
The book has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and remains a fixture on school reading lists. Set in the 1930s South, it centers on Finch and his young children, daughter Scout and son Jem.
When Finch defends an African-American man falsely accused of assaulting a white woman, the trial and its repercussions open Scout's eyes to the world around her, good and bad.
Besides the TV series, "The Great American Read" initiative included a 50,000-member online book club and video content across PBS platforms, Facebook and YouTube that drew more than 5 million views.
The 100-book list voted on by readers was based on an initial survey of about 7,000 Americans, with an advisory panel of experts organizing the list. Books had to have been published in English but not written in the language, and one book or series per author was allowed.
Dhaka, Oct 23 (UNB) - A three-day-long International Art Festival 2018 titled ‘Tune of Art’ will begin at the National Art Plaza (Gallery-2) of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Thursday.
The festival, organized by Focus Bangladesh, will be inaugurated by renowned Artist Professor Jamal Ahmed, Chairman of Bangladesh Charushilpi Sangsad while Md Shahid Hossain, Rajat Subhra Bandopadhyaya, Praween Karmakar, Gobinda Roy, Debasis Daspal, Mintu Dy and Md Kauser Hossain will be present as special guests.
It’s the third version of this festival where 204 artists from 16 countries including Bangladesh, Iran, India, Italy, Canada, China, Pakistan, USA, UAE, Kosovo, Albania, Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal, Turkey and Philippines will be participate, said a press release.
The exhibition is an output of an art competition where 181 artist participants on competition and 23 eminent artists participate as Invited Artists.
Rajat Subhra Bandopadhyay, Md Kauser Hossain and Praween Karmakar was the honorable jury of the competition, it said.
During the festival, a two-day long workshop, conducted by artist Rajat Subhra Bandopadhyaya, Praween Karmakar, Gobinda Roy, Debasis Daspal, Mintu Dy and Md Kauser Hossain, will be organized.
The exhibition will be open to all till 26 October from 10:00 am to 8:00pm.
Sydney, Oct 22 (AP/UNB)— The Duke and Duchess of Sussex took separate boats Monday to Queensland's Fraser Island as their tour of Australia and the South Pacific continued with a reduced schedule for the pregnant duchess.
Prince Harry took a barge for the 43-mile (70-kilometer) crossing from Australia's mainland to the island, while the former American actress Meghan rode in a far more comfortable cruiser.
Meghan is some four months pregnant and has had her schedule reduced after a hectic start to the 16-day tour.
The Duchess was expected to rest for the first part of the day while Prince Harry undertook several engagements focusing on environmental issues, before rejoining her husband for a reception.
Harry and Meghan touched down midmorning at Hervey Bay, 745 miles (1200km) north of Sydney, in a Royal Australian Air Force plane. The couple descended the stairs hand-in-hand, before going their separate ways: Harry boarding a bus and Meghan a car.
Harry was scheduled for a range of engagements on the world's biggest sand island, known as K'gari in the local indigenous language, on day seven of their Australian tour.
After taking part in a traditional "Welcome to Country" smoking ceremony with representatives of the local Butchulla indigenous people, Harry was set to unveil a plaque dedicating the popular holiday island's pristine rainforests to Queen Elizabeth's Commonwealth Canopy project.
Harry's itinerary also touched on the history of logging on Fraser Island, whose famed hardwood trees were used to build the London's docks in the 1930s.
Harry and Meghan were due to attend a reception and meet Hervey Bay paramedics Graeme Cooper and Danielle Kellam.
The paramedics were to be recognized for their act of kindness after a photo of them last year granting a dying woman's wish to see the ocean at Hervey Bay one last time went viral and captured hearts around the world.
Harry and Meghan are due to leave Australia for Fiji and Tonga on Tuesday. They will return to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, Harry's brainchild and the focus of their tour, before finishing off with a visit to New Zealand.
London, Oct 14 (AP/UNB) — The royal wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank was a big hit in terms of British TV viewership.
ITV said Saturday that it added roughly 2.1 million viewers during its extended morning program that showed live coverage of Friday's wedding at Windsor Castle.
ITV was the only U.K. broadcaster that showed the entire service live from St. George's Chapel.
Competitors BBC and Sky News showed snippets of the wedding and the crowds thronging the streets of Windsor outside the castle.
BBC blamed a failure of its voice recognition system for a subtitle that briefly referred to Eugenie's "beautiful breasts" rather than her "beautiful dress" as she walked up the stairs to the chapel.
Eugenie is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and ninth in line to the British throne.