Chorusing this year’s slogan 'Choose to Challenge', renowned cultural organisations Monday observed International Women’s Day through various programmes, featuring powerful discussions and cultural shows.
Adjusting to the new normal amid the Covid pandemic, several organisations from home and abroad went for virtual programmes this year. However, some organisations in Dhaka, including Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad and Bandhu Social Welfare Society, organised a number of cultural programmes to celebrate the day.
A special recitation programme was organised by Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad at Nandan Mancha of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Monday afternoon.
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Education Minister Dipu Moni joined the event as the chief guest while former Minister for Cultural Affairs and president of Abritti Samannay Parishad Asaduzzaman Noor and former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique were present as special guests.
Shirin Islam presented the keynote speech titled ‘Bangabandhur Bhabonay Nari’, written by Selina Hossain. Presidium member of Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad, Rezina Wali Lina presided over the event, while Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad general secretary Ahkam Ullah delivered the welcome speech.
Noted female recitation artistes performed both solo and group recitations at the event. Laila Afroz, Naila Tarannum Chowdhury Kakoli, Jharna Chowdhury, Shamima Tandra, Tamanna Sarwar Nipa, Mahmuda Akter Tamanna and others performed solo recitations, while Rezina Wali Lina, Suborna Afrin, Ananya Saha, Nasima Khan Bakul, Kazi Bushra Ahmed Tithi, Rabia Sultana Panna and child artistes of Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad performed group recitations.
With a vision to create awareness regarding the leadership role of transgender women among mass population and encourage gender diversity among people through stories from successful creative thinkers, Bandhu Social Welfare Society arranged a programme at Bangladesh Girl Guides Association on Bailey Road in the evening.
The event featured discussion and dance shows. Election commissioner Begum Kabita Khanam joined the programme as the chief guest while the first-secretary of Australian High Commission in Bangladesh Sacha Blumen, counsellor political affairs of Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh Rosalee LaPlante, eminent dancer Shamim Ara Nipa, noted filmmaker Nargis Akter, transgender activist and president of Siri Samaj Kallyan Sangstha Arifa Yasmin Moyuri spoke at the event.
A thematic dance titled 'Naree: A symbol of Women Empowerment' was showcased at the event, followed by a special dance recital by Bandhu’s Essence of Soul -- ‘Beautiful Bangladesh’, dedicated to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
German institutions Deutsche Welle (DW) Akademie and Goethe-Institut Bangladesh jointly started a project with young feminists titled ‘The Young Feminism vodcast’ on Monday on Goethe-Institut Bangladesh’s YouTube channel and DW Bengali’s Facebook page.
Romana Akthar Shanta and Mohammad Jawad Hossain, journalism students of Chittagong University, interviewed Esha Aurora, assistant news editor at Dhaka Tribune and Tasnuva Ahmed, a broadcast media personality and gender equality promoter. The vodcast featured insightful, casual talks about the ever-evolving challenges women have to face every day in their lives.
The Gronthee, a South Asian literary platform in the UK, in collaboration with Saudha Society of Poetry and Indian music, a leading promoter of Indian classical and global music, as well as La Ninfa Eco, a British-Argentine literary magazine, jointly celebrated the International Women’s Day through a virtual event on Sunday.
Titled 'Re-interpreting Begum Rokeya: International Women’s Day celebration', the event focused on the eventful life of Begum Rokeya, a Bengali feminist of the 20th century, and other contemporary feminist issues.
Streamed live on The Gronthee’s Facebook page and Saudha’s YouTube channel, the virtual event featured 31 speakers and performers, including Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, as the chief guest.
Vice-Chancellor of Barisal University professor Sadequl Arefin, journalist and filmmaker Gita Sahgal, writer and feminist Dr Amrita Wilson, former Member of Parliament Mahjabeen Khaled, Professor Rashmi Varma of Warwick University in the UK and Professor Mirza Taslima Sultana of
Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh joined the event.
Anchored by poet TM Ahmed Kaysher, director of Saudha, and coordinated by the editor of Gronthee poet Shamim Shahan, the session featured the presentation of spoken-word performances by a Spain-based Latin American poet and feminist Rosy Sune, US-based artiste Mariam Tamborenea, US-based playwright Nancy Guevera, British-Argentine poet Gaby Sambuccetti, Chilean writer Carmen Berenguer, Mexican poet Claudia Posadas, Singapore-based Indian poet Nandini Mehra, British-Ukrainian poet and filmmaker Vera Graziadei, British-Indian writer Shree Ganguly and Bengali poet Sebonti Ghosh.
Iranian musician Niknaz Mirghalami, celebrated British-Indian vocalist and composer Supriya Nagarajan, Hindustani semi-classical singer Sumana Mallik Basu and Bengali singer Jessy Barua rendered song performances while Kathak performer from India Maya Kulshreastha, Gaudiya Nritya performer from Bangladesh Rachel Perris, Spain-based Indian choreographer and classical dancer Sohini Roy Chowdhury Dasgupta showcased dance performances at the programme.
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A three-day film festival titled 'Joyeeta Foundation Chalachchitra Utsab 2021' concluded at the Music and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Monday. The three-day event was organised by Bangladesh International Film Movement, in association with BSA and Joyeeta Foundation, featuring six films made by the local female filmmakers.
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) arranged a special webinar with the Department of English and Humanities (DEH) on Monday evening on Zoom. Following this year’s theme 'Choose to Challenge', the webinar featured a conversation between Supa Sadia, writer and researcher, and Qazi Mustabeen Noor, Lecturer of DEH, where they talked about Sadia’s work on the project called 'Sheroes of 1952 and 1971'.
Marking the Golden Jubilee of the historic 7th March speech delivered by the country’s founding president and the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at what is now the Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka, noted socio-cultural organisations arranged various virtual and offline programmes on Saturday.
Organizations including Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), Bangla Academy, Liberation War Museum (LWM), Bangladesh National Museum, Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad and others arranged programmes marking the day.
BSA organised a special seminar followed by a cultural programme on its 7th March Speech Art Premises at 7:30 pm, joined by State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid as the chief guest.
Following the seminar presided by BSA director general Liaquat Ali Lucky, the performers of BSA staged a dance drama titled Muktir Mahakkhyan. The drama was jointly choreographed by noted dance artistes including Shamim Ara Nipa, Amit Chowdhury, Mehraj Haque Tushar, Saiful Islam Evan, Ariful Islam Arnab and Masrur Rahman, and it was directed by Liaquat Ali Lucky himself.
Also read: Historic 7th March today
Bangla Academy organised a special seminar at its Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Hall at 11 am, presided over by the academy’s president Professor Shamsuzzaman Khan. Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Siraji delivered the welcome speech and freedom fighter Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir Bir Pratik presented the keynote speech at the programme, which was broadcasted on the official Facebook page of the academy.
A similar hybrid seminar was arranged by the Liberation War Museum (LWM) at its auditorium in the Civic Centre at 5 pm. Streamed live on the Facebook page of the museum, the event featured a memorial lecture and discussion featuring Helen Jarvis, an Australian-Cambodian Scholar on Genocide Studies and member of the International Advisory Board, Memory of the World, UNESCO.
LWM trustee Mofidul Hoque delivered the welcome speech at the event, and a special exhibition titled "The Speech that Resonated around the World", was inaugurated following the seminar.
Bangladesh National Museum organised a photographic exhibition at its Nalini Kanta Bhattasali Gallery, featuring photos showcasing the tumultuous days during the 1971 Liberation War. The exhibition was inaugurated by Khondoker Mostafizur Rahman, director general of the museum.
A joint recitation programme was organized by the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee, in association with Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad at the Shikha Chirantan of Suhrawardy Udyan at 4 pm. Joined by noted recitation artists of the country, the event was also streamed live on the Facebook page of Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad.
Although the traditional Joy Bangla Concert, usually takes place at Bangladesh Army Stadium every year on March 7 by Young Bangla under the supervision of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) since 2015, did not take place this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic - the organizer Young Bangla streamed highlights from previous years’ concerts on its Facebook page, alongside streaming a special program reminiscing the 2020 concert with its performing bands including Arbovirus, Chirkut and more.
Highlights from the concerts were also aired on Gaan Bangla TV at 8 pm, Channel 24 at 8:30 pm, and Maasraanga Television at 11:30 pm.
Country's leading cultural institute Chhayanaut organized a special virtual event on Saturday commemorating the 200th birth anniversary of legendary Indian educator and social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
The online event titled "Firey Ashi Bar Bar", broadcast on the institute's Facebook and YouTube pages at 8 pm, featured special renditions of songs, readings, and lectures from noted intellectuals including Professor Golam Murshid, prolific critic and researcher, as the main discussant.
Dr Sarwar Ali, executive president of Chhayanaut presented the opening monologue of the event, explaining this special initiative.
Abdus Sabur Khan Chowdhury read an article of Rabindranath Tagore which the Noble-laureate poet wrote on meeting Vidyasagar, while Jahirul Haque Khan and Dalia Ahmed, general members of Chhayanaut, read excerpts from Rabindranath Tagore's essay on the social reformer called 'Vidyasagarcharita' at the event.
The main discussant and keynote speaker of the event, professor Golam Murshid, explained the prolific journey of Vidyasagar by shedding the spotlight on his iconic personality and his monumental role in the Bengali societal system, literature and culture.
Students from Nalanda including Suhrid Samyadwip, Zaiba Tahzeeb, Sheikh Fabiha Haque, Samah Towfika Tapashee, Zogobrotee Dey Diganta, Surjo Anibar and Paromita Dhoritree Kotha read excerpts from Vidyasagar's books including 'Betal Panchabinsati' and 'Neetibodh'.
Noted singers Sumon Majumdar and Mita Haque presented songs from Jyotirindranath Tagore and Ramnidhi Gupta at the event.
Born as Ishwar Chandra Bandyopadhyay on September 26, 1820 at the Birsingha village of Paschim Medinipur district, West Bengal - Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is considered the "father of Bengali prose".
For his excellent performance in Sanskrit studies and philosophy, he received the title "Vidyasagar" ('Ocean of Knowledge' in Sanskrit) from the Sanskrit College, Calcutta, from where he received his alma mater.
In 2004, Vidyasagar was ranked number 9 in BBC's poll of the Greatest Bengali of all time.
Onions are a staple in many delectable cuisines around the world, but sometimes it’s hard to tell how cooked onions are when we eat them. Sauces, pepper, and even other ingredients in the dish can mask its quality and may pose a different effect for those with high blood pressure. Rumor has it that raw onion is good for high blood pressure and there are a few studies that could convince you to give this a try.
Onions are the distant cousins of garlic, shallots, chives, and leeks. This means they share similar nutritional values like being low in calories while boasting a respectable amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vitamin C in particular is its most copious nutrient; particularly excelling in iron absorption, tissue repairing, and collagen production.
Onions specifically have the ability to produce quercetin, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce blood pressure effectively. Onions are also heavy on carbohydrates when compared to other kinds of vegetables are a solid source as long as it is not the primary ingredient in your meal.
Onions can be eaten either raw or cooked, but raw and slightly cooked are your best options should you want to maximize your nutritional intake. Raw onions have a much higher level of sulfur compounds; what this means is that the nutrient assists to lower blood sugar levels, reduce the generation of unhealthy types of cholesterol and even aid to prevent certain kinds of cancer. Cooked onions will still have some degree of this nutrient, but if you’re looking to use the full range of the onion’s nutrients, going slightly cooked at most is the way to go. If the properties of sulfur compounds are not that important to you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cooked onions either.
No matter how you look at it, some level of dieting is required if you want to lower your blood pressure quickly and effectively. Salt is the number one criminal in any meal that contributes to high blood pressure. Salt thickens and hardens arteries overtime and this can lead to either a heart attack or stroke. It's easy to underestimate how much salt is in your meals if you aren’t deliberate with your meal choices, but when cooking at home, it can easily be controlled.
The next requirement is going to be tough for many - cutting down caffeine and alcohol. Adrenaline is a given catalyst to heightened blood pressure and its effects are rather self-explanatory. Opting for more fruits and vegetables is universally a good thing, but especially important in reducing high blood pressure. Generally, these foods are packed with great complementary nutrients like fiber and vitamins.
Despite all the perks of onions, if this vegetable isn’t for you, not all hope is lost. Believe it or not, chicken soup is the first dish on the list that aids to reduce blood pressure. The protein found in chicken legs specifically contains a good amount of collagen. Despite finding success in Asian nations like Japan and China, chicken soup should not be substituted for traditional medicine.
Berries have a reputation for its respectable amount of antioxidants. Compounds specifically called anthocyanins have been studied to play a role in relieving hypertension and lowering overall blood pressure. It’s not difficult to make berries work; with sugar-free yogurt, other fruits, and pastries; berries serve as a fine dessert or snack that will give your body the boost it needs to reduce blood pressure.
Potassium also plays a critical part to reduce hypertension and Banana contains this nutrient in spades. With each banana serving approximately 422 milligrams of potassium, this fruit should not go unnoticed as a regularly consumed snack. Slices of banana in cereal, bread, and on its own are highly recommended. Bananas go well with ice cream and certain kinds of pudding but will pose other issues if consumed in conjunction with one another too frequently.
Oats are also high in fiber, containing a particular subcategory called beta-gluten. It has the ability to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and is one of the healthiest carbohydrates around. It is simple to consume and can either be used as a beverage or a cereal substitute. It can also be used on a savory note and sprinkled with meat and nuts.
Also read; Is Being Vegan Good For Your Body?
If you’re staying off the carbs and would rather try something more along the lines of keto, pistachios and almonds are decent snacks that have proven to be reliable and relieving hypertension and blood pressure spikes. Using fat as an energy replacement may be tricky as excess intake can lead to an increase in weight. Ideally, going for a handful of these nuts every other day would be your best bet as an alternative to onion to lower blood pressure.
Lily Chowdhury, eminent theatre activist and wife of the late martyred intellectual playwright Munier Chowdhury, passed away on Monday. She was 92.
She breathed her last at around 5 pm on Monday.
Her son Asif Munier confirmed the news on his Facebook post on Monday night and informed media that his mother died at her Banani residence, finally succumbing in a long battle against several old-age complications.
According to Asif Munier and other family members of Lily Chowdhury, her body will be kept at the Banani residence for the relatives and loved ones to pay last respects till 10:30 in the morning on Tuesday.
Her body will be then taken to the Central Shaheed Minar and kept there from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on Tuesday for people of all walks of life.to pay their last tributes to the late theatre activist.
She will be buried at the Banani graveyard beside the graves of her husband Munier Chowdhury and son Mishuk Munier after the Zohr prayer, according to family members.
Mishuk Munier was a noted cinematographer who passed away in a tragic road accident on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway, along with prominent filmmaker Tareque Masud on August 13, 2011.
Born on August 31, 1928, in Tangail, Lily Chowdhury completed her MA from Dhaka University. She got married to Munier Chowdhury in 1949.
She completed Munier Chowdhury's unfinished translation of A Streetcar Named Desire, the famous play of American playwright Tennessee Williams. Besides, she acted in theatre and television plays and was actively involved in the Bangladeshi theatre arena.