Bangla New Year - Abid RahmanDefinition of culture is widely diverse and had been interpreted by many social scientists in various ways to address context, origin, its role on human life and society etc. In my humble view, culture is the representation of our total way of life. Culture represents member of a society in national and global arena with significant diversity putting co-existent views of multiculturalism.
Like any other global society, Bangalee’s bears its unique and un parallel characteristics of diversity, its transformation from pre-feudalize society to market economy, complex mixture of rural and urban livelihood, survival on a densely populated land, happily neighboring other religious beliefs, parallel practice of long old customs and rituals with 21st century’s modern living. Though Bangladesh caters some minor ethnic groups, aboriginals are tribes with diverse languages, religion and rituals, Bangalee’s dominates in numbers.
Alike some other South-Asian cultures, Bangladesh’s New Year lunar base. And interestingly emerges and celebrated on/about same time. Fundamental of Bangla New Year celebration is focused on food and festivity. Bangla New Year like any other primitive agro economy is basically the balance sheet of last cultivation, transactions etc. It’s also the beginning of new accounts. It also resembles ‘nabanna’ or new corp.
New Year celebration may be merely an occasion and festivity but it reflects total life style of that particular community. In olden days, Bangla New Year celebration was deeply rooted in village or agro based society, wherein Mela (fête) and traditional sports event were organized. But with time New Year celebration festivity were expanded to wider community and engaged urban population as well. It became the identity of Bangalee race/population. This extended celebration had united the Bangladesh with significance and importance of national identity as our identity were divided and debated over religion and root-culture. This celebration had inspired and motivated Bangalee to fight for the right of mother language. Bangladesh is the only civilized society who shaded blood for the right and honour of mother language. 21st February is the sacrifice made by Bangalee’s, which later was honoured by UN as International Mother Language Day.
Today, Bangla New Year celebration is the biggest festivity despite religious and other diversity. Celebration became part of heart, mind and soul. Where ever, Bangalee people are settled or residing, they become proud partner of such celebration.
There is no further proud and honour than of being Bangalee.
Happy Bengali New Year to all.