Bangladesh-Australia Association Canberra Inc. Welcomes Bangla New Year 1417 at the Canberra Islamic Center

Bangladesh-Australia Association Canberra Inc. Welcomes Bangla New Year 1417 at the Canberra Islamic Center

1. With tremendous enthusiasm, fanfare & vigour and a record turn-out of over 1000 (total) participants comprising inter-state participants from Sydney, the Bangla Nabobarsha 1417 was celebrated on 24 April, 2010(11 Baishakh, 1417) through traditional welcoming songs and dances, telefilm-show, Children’s art-work & poetry competitions, instrumental music, recitation of poems, Children’s fashion show, variety of food and pitha stalls and a host of other activities representing the Bangali culture under the auspices of the Bangladesh-Australia Association Inc.Canberra ably led by Dr Moyazur Rahman, a Consultant Cardiologist of the Canberra Teaching Hospital, this year with the assistance of an equally able team of community members holding different portfolios. As the occasion was also marked through holding of a Baishakhi Mela, a large number of stalls comprising food shops offering a large variety of hot foods & lunch boxes, different kind of snacks, traditional pithas & sweets and a good number of apparel shops selling saris, salwar-kameez, dresses, imitation jewellery, books, CDs, souvenirs & decoration pieces, glittering cushions & spices numbering a total of 21 were set up surpassing all past records making the whole place pulsating with life and humming with activities throughout the day.

For event photos please click the following link at http://www.priyoaustralia.com.au/photos/main.php?g2_itemId=9177

2. This year’s Baishakhi Mela included stalls from the Bangladesh-Australia Association Canberra Inc., Bangladesh High Commission, Bangla Radio, Bangladesh Environmental Network & CO-ID Let’s work for Bangladesh, besides stalls set up in personal & individual capacities. Bangalees of all shades and ages attired in clourful and lively summer dresses specially Pyjama/Punjabi and Saris in a relaxed mood beaming with joy, happiness & satisfaction thronged the venue from morning till late afternoon to exchange new year’s greetings and to participate in the day-long festivities of gossip, humour, food, music, recitations, dances & songs. The Bangladesh High Commission sponsored the art-work and poetry competitions of children for the first time. The High Commissioner Lieutenant-General Masududdin Chowdhury and his wife, his officers in the High Commission and a good number of his staff participated in the celebrations and managed the High Commission stall and part of the scheduled program. The High Commissioner of Pakistan visited the Mela to witness the celebrations as our High Commissioner’s guest.

3. The small stage at the centre of CIC was tastefully decorated with “Eshohe Baishakh Esho” fliers, other welcoming art items & artificial flowers by Dr Mohammad Khan Mintoo, a voluntary stage decorator and the Association’s Sports Secretary Topa. The Mela Poster was by Mr Ehsan Ullah.

4. The day’s program commenced with the display of a tele-film titled Ujanpanthe which ran for little over an hour. It was a love story in which an ordinary village girl, after falling in love to a bullock-cart driver, marries him but subsequently gets deserted when the man leaves for a big city in quest of a better livelihood never to return again. The girl, while bringing up her son born after departure of the husband, patiently waits and sings melodious & heart-rending bhawaiya songs with the son in her lap hoping that some day her husband would return and the family would get re-united. While the film was being exhibited, a children’s painting competition and a children’s recitation competition were in progress under the aegis of the Bangladesh High Commission, Canberra.

5. The substantive part of the program began with the traditional presentation of the famous welcoming Tagore song befitting the occasion “Eshohe Baishakh Esho Esho” by a joint group of Canberra singers comprising Shamsul Huda, Khondoker Yusuf, Tarek Safa, Nilufa Akhtar Khanom, Dalia Nilufar & Utsha while Dr. Rana played the Tabla in accompaniment. This was followed by presentation of soothing instrumental music on Guitar by Dr Enamul Huq from Goulburn. Then came Purna with her beautiful song ‘AAlokeri Jharna dharay’ in accompaniment of harmonium by her father Dr Robin Gouda and Tabla by Shourav Acharjee.
Utsha then presented a melodious song.

Next to perform was (Kolkata based) Banga-Shangskriti, Australia with Rajib Bose rendering his first song “Amar Sharata Din Meghla, Amar Bristi Man Matano” with Dr Mintoo supporting him with music by Guitar. In his second song Rajib sang a duet “Kajer Manush Dure Thuyia” with well-known Canberra singer Avijit Sarkar and a third solo “Ore Shampaner Naiya” with music accompaniment from Dr Mintoo and Tabla by Shourav Acharjee. Continuous indoor shopping and the resultant noise notwithstanding, the charming songs and the way they were rendered sucked the attention of the audience through their expression of clapping. Dr Mintoo followed, to render three songs in succession “Ami Jare Chaire shey Thake Mori Ontore”, the last being his own composition in accompaniment with his playing of Guitar and assisted in Tabla by Shourav. He also received warm acclamation from the audience for his good performance.

Association’s Sports Secretary Topa was next on stage to present his Khulna and Barisal dialectic skills through narration of the same story first in Khulna dialect where he comes from and then in Barisal dialect. He then exhorted Tarek Safa from Chittagong and a lady who introduced her as Topa from Sylhet to present the same story in Chittagonian & Sylheti dialects. These presentations were hilarious as the audience burst into laughter which helped to create a light mood all around the Hall.

At this point, the diplomatic officers of the Bangladesh High Commission organized a Quiz Program, first with ten male and then with ten female members of the community. Later, three from each group were adjudged first, second and third to win prizes offered by the High Commission.

The announcements/running commentary was made by Obaidul Haque & Nilufa Khanom at the outset and was subsequently taken over by Shamsuddin Shafi & Jebin. The script of the whole program was written by Nilufa Khanom.

6. Well-known local singers Dalia Nilufar then rendered a beautiful Nazrul Geeti “Nadir Nam Shoi Anjana” followed by Nilufa Khanom with her melodious song “Akasher Hate Aache Ekrash Nil” both of which received wide acclamation by the audience. Monon and Jebin followed them to the stage one after another to present two beautiful songs very well-received by the audience.

Little and pre-teen boys and girls from Canberra followed to present an attractive fashion show parade in which the intricacies of real and serious fashion show parades were immaculately displayed showing their potential as future models to the spectators, trained by Negar Sultana Tina.

7. Spondon, a group of Bangladeshi singers from Canberra/Queanbeyan, thereafter took to the stage to present to the audience a carefully selected list of nine songs keeping in view the theme of six seasons and the once mighty rivers of Bangladesh. Ten members of Spondon took to the stage and participated in the Pohela Boishakh program. They were:

• Rumana Jamaly Rupa
• Luna Purification
• Salma Mir Rana
• Safina Ahmed Sheta
• Mehjabin Sayeed
• Shamsul Huda
• Yusuf Khondoker
• Tarek Safa
• Shourav Acharjee
• Shafquat Zaman Khan Rupam

Shourav Acharjee played the Tabla. Spondon’s programme was presented and narrated by Rumana Jamaly, with the script of this programme written by Obadul Haque. The first song, a patriotic one, was rendered by all the ten performers, called “Hairey amar mon matano desh”. This beautiful song was followed by two solo performances with the theme of mighty rivers of Bangladesh in mind. The first solo performance was from Shafquat Zaman Khan who spelled the audience with the popular Abbasuddin folk song “Nodir Kul Nai Kinar Nai Re”depicting the vastness of some rivers in Bangladesh once upon a time. The second solo performance was from Salma Mir who sang a soul-touching song“Rupali Nodi Re, Roop Deikha Tor Hoiyacchi Pagol” which took the audience’s mind to the mesmerizing effect that a mighty river in Bangladesh can have on us. This song was followed by a very lively chorus song “Khoro Bayu Boy Begey”. This was followed by a sad, yet an extremely soothing and soul-touching song rendered by Khondoker Yusuf “Polash Futecche Shimul Futecche Eshecche Darun Maash”. The next song was a chorus that described the Bengali month of “Poush” called “Poush Toder Daak Diyecche Aayre Re Chole Aaye aaye aaye.” This was followed by a romantic classic song rendered by Tarek Safa “Akash Eto Meghla Jeona Ko Ekla, Ekhoni Nambey Ondhokaar.” followed by Luna Purification’s solo performance of a Tagore song “Shei amaye bolecchiley.” Spondon’s programme ended with a patriotic & popular Abdul Latif song “Shona Shona Shona Loke Boley Shona, Shona Noy Toto Khati, Bolo Joto Khati Tar Cheyo Khati Bangladesher Mati” rendered in chorus. Iftekhar Ahmed co-ordinated the sound system for Spondon whiles him and Topa did the same job for other participants. The effect of Spondon’s rendering of the songs on the audience was lasting, mesmerizing and overwhelming.

8. Kamrul Ahsan Khan then made an announcement about formation of a branch of the Dhaka University Alumni Association in Canberra with Ali Hossain as its Convener and invited all erstwhile students of this institution to join the Association and to participate in the next meeting-cum- dinner-cum-cultural night scheduled for 15 May, 2010 by paying $50.00 per family for the function.

9. Well-known local talent Mir Hashmat Ali then recited Nirmalendu Goon’s “Baishakhe April” drawing wide applause from the audience. Trisha & Mrittika were the first to perform a well-choreographed, attractive dance sequence in accompaniment with a Tagore song under direction of Dr Dalia Nilufar which was also applauded widely by the spectators. A well-known dance artist of Canberra, Urmi, presented next dance item fully captivating the spectators, who burst into a wide applause on conclusion of her performance. Farah, Ajmina & Adnin thereafter presented a beautiful dance item also applauded by the spectators over the length and breadth of the Center.

10. Mrittika and Trisha, elegantly dressed with saris, came to the stage to perform another dance item, choreographed and directed by Dr Dalia Nilufar, in accompaniment of music drawn from Nazrul-Geeti. This was a well-rehearsed graceful presentation able to invoke great appreciation & eulogy from the audience.

11. Kishaloy, a Sydney-based children’s organization, staged a spectacular presentation of recitation, songs & dances with its child artists. Shumon recited a poem titled “Pahar Chura” written by Sunil Gagopadhya.

12. Local young singer Shejuti then took to the stage to sing a beautiful Rabindra Sangeet “Badal Baul Bajay Re Aktara” in accompaniment with her Music Teacher and a well-known local & inter-state singer Sakiba Rahman Mitul on the harmonium and Shourav Acharjee with Tabla. Thereafter, Mitul presented two enchanting Rabindra Sangeet “Akash Bhara Shurja Tara Bishwa Bhara Pran” and “Alo Amar Alo Ogo Alo Bhuvan Bhara”. The songs were received with big applause by the audience.

13. Mrs Jesmin Masud, wife of the High Commissioner, Mrs Rokeya Rahman (Shaon), wife of the Association’s current President, Mrs Afsana Rahman, wife of the High Commission’s Commercial Counsellor and Mrs Negar Sultana Tina, wife of Association’s current General Secretary, were invited to the stage to distribute prizes to community children who participated in the Art & Recitation competitions held earlier and also to the winners of the Quiz Programs.

Mrs Rokeya Rahman distributed prizes to the following young artists:

1. Meem
2. Azmina
3. Mayesha
4. Arpan
5. Medha
6. Noon
7. Ishraq
8. Tasnim
9. Ayesha
10.Zahi

Mrs Negar Sultana Tina distributed prizes to the following reciters:

1. Zumana
2. Mona
3. Mahin
4. Rohan
5. Arpan
6. Subah & Sami.

Mrs Afsana Rahman distributed prizes for the quiz programs to the following community ladies:

1. Nazneen Choudhury
2. Touhida
3. Dalia Nilufar

And Mrs Jesmin Masud to the following community gentlemen:

1. Md Rezaur Raihan
2. Masood
3. Md Shafiul Azam.

14. The following members of the Bangladesh Puja Celebration Committee, Canberra then took to the stage to present a total of seven chorus songs and a poem on this occasion:

• Shourav Acharjee
• Avijit Sarkar
• Tapan Kundu
• Rajib Paul
• Priyanka Biswas
• Srabonee Paul
• Arpita Ghosh
• Mitu Mitra
• Gouri Chakraborti
• Tapati Das

And the songs are:

1. Aji Bangladesher Hridoy Kokhon Aponi
2. Alo Amar Alo
3. Shonkochero Bihbolotai
4. Dhitang Dhitang Bole
5. Moina Chalath Cholath
6. Bihur E Logon
7. Mongol Dip Jele.

The poem, Nirjhorer Shapna Bhango, was recited by Tapati Das. The entire program received a big hand from the audience.

15. By the time the Singers of Village Folk Songs and Lalon-Gitee of Sydney, namely, Anisur Rahman, Roqsana Rahman & Mizanur Rahman took to the stage, it was well into evening and most of the stalls wound up their day-long operation and all food stalls except one already closed down. The number of participants also thinned leaving behind only those song lovers numbering about 50 who stayed back to listen to the spectacular presentation of the captivating & enchanting Sydney singers. The rapturous clapping of the audience each time a song was presented by the group led by Mizanur Rahman or sang solo by Roqsana Rahman defied bewilderment and provided phillip to the performers to continue with their singing despite the group’s time constraint for returning to Sydney with a little girl child of the duo who accompanied them. Ranjeet from Sydney was the last on the stage to present to the audience two beautiful songs received with wide applause.

For those organizers & office-bearers of the Association who had been working since the night before tirelessly without adequate rest or sleep and who were required to clean-up the venue before its return to the CIC Management and even those who continued to stay at the venue from before 11 AM on the day, it was indeed very strenuous & hard. Nevertheless, everyone present at that hour enjoyed these songs with their hearts’ content and despite their fatigue, the Sydney Group also enjoyed full to the brim being able to enchant the audience with their ravishing presentations.

16. Finally, I would like to place on record our sincere appreciation to all the office-bearers of the Bangladesh-Australia Association Inc. (particularly Dr Moyazur Rahman Maroof, Shafique Ahmed Rana, Atik Ullah, Syful Islam Sohel, Dr Shaikh Shariyar Wahab, Tawhidul Islam Topa) for their thoughtfulness, zeal & tireless efforts in organizing such a wonderful day laden with soul-stirring programs to welcome the Bangla Nobobarsha 1417 which is likely to leave an indelible imprint in the hearts and minds of all Bangalees living in ACT/NSW. The members of our community also deserve unqualified appreciation for their whole-hearted support and co-operation.

-Badiuzzaman Khan

For event photos please click the following link at http://www.priyoaustralia.com.au/photos/main.php?g2_itemId=9177

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