Theatre troupe Nagarik Natya Sampradaya’s week-long national theatre festival ‘Notuner Utsab 2019’ concluded in the city on Thursday, evoking huge response from audience.
The festival featured seven new plays, each staged for the first time from 29 November to 5 December, every evening at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)’s National Theatre Hall.
A concluding ceremony was arranged at the venue prior to the staging of the closing play ‘Lottery’, directed by Mostafiz Shahin. The play featured visually impaired actors on stage, with actor-director Sara Zaker being the dramaturge.
Country’s renowned thespians joined the ceremony where four legendary theatre activist women- Ferdousi Mazumder, Lucky Enam, Shimul Yousuf and Jyotsna Biswas was awarded and honored for their tremendous contribution in Bangladesh’s theatre activities.
Legendary theatre activists Abul Hayat, Tariq Anam Khan, Professor Abdus Selim and Pantha Shahriar were also present at the ceremony alongside the four mentioned award-winners.
About the festival, Abul Hayat, who attended on behalf of Nagorik Natya Sampradaya’s Chairperson Aly Zaker, said “Nagorik started as the first theatre group in Dhaka which initiated the trend of theatre shows with ticket- for the sake of the survival of theatre artists. These past seven days, seven successful plays were staged with an unimaginable number of crowd who stood in line for tickets. We all are really happy for the support and also glad to honor these four legendary ladies in Bangladesh’s theatre sphere.”
Director Pantha Shahriar who received massive acclaim for his new play ‘Kalo Joler Kabbo’, inspired by William Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ featuring legendary actor Asaduzzaman Noor, told UNB that the response of the crowd in this festival was overwhelming.
“Instead of repeating prominent plays in festivals, Nagorik’s idea was to take an initiative which will promote new plays so that new directors-playwrights-performers can get inspired. We have seen humongous response from the crowd and we thank all our associates specially the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy for supporting the initiative.”
Theatre troupe Nagorik Natya Sampradaya arranged the week-long drama festival in collaboration with cultural affairs ministry where Nagorik Natya Sampradaya, Sunamgonj Proscenium O Bandhan Theatre, Nagarik Natyangan Bangladesh, Porishor, Prachyanat, Monipur Theatre and Mangaldeep Foundation staged their plays.
A jury board consisting of Tariq Anam Khan, Professor Abdus Selim and senior members of Nagorik Natya Sampradaya selected the staged plays.
The festival commenced on 29 November with state minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. Honorary president of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) Ramendu Majumdar, renowned thespian Mamunur Rashid, thespian-filmmaker Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky were also present at the inauguration as special guests.
Convener of the festival and Nagorik Natya Sampradaya vice president Sara Zaker delivered the welcome speech at the programme, which was then presided over by thespian Ataur Rahman.
On the first day, the play Kalo Joler Kabbo, directed by Pantho Shahriar was staged. It is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, casting Asaduzzaman Noor as Bhangari- a role which was inspired from the infamous character, Shylock.
This was followed by Shamim Shagor’s Radharomon on the second day. The third day showcased Akasey Phuitechhey Phul - Letokahon, directed by Dr Roton Siddique and Hridi Huq. An adaptation of Tagore’s Aruproton, directed by Saidur Rahman Lipon, was staged on the fourth day. Kazi Toufiqul Islam Emon’s Khwabnama, inspired by Akhteruzzaman Elias’s novel of the same name, was presented on the fifth day. O Mon Pahia, scripted and directed by Shubasish Sinha, was staged on the sixth day and Mangaldeep Foundation’s play Lottery, directed by Mostafiz Shahin was staged as the concluding play on Thursday.
The organizers informed UNB that the festival will return next year with even bigger arrangement and festivities.
One in eight or more than 21 million people, cannot afford a nutritious diet in Bangladesh, says a new report.
Local food culture contributes to overconsumption of rice and nutrient poor foods; and the nutritional needs of adolescents and the elderly remain largely unaddressed, it said.
The Cabinet Division of the Government of Bangladesh and World Food Progamme(WFP) on Thursday released the findings from a comprehensive analysis of the availability and affordability of a healthy diet.
This situation is exacerbated for girls when adverse gender norms and practices such as early marriage and pregnancy come into play, the report, entitled Fill the Nutrient Gap, reveals.
“I would like to extend my gratitude for the policy recommendations that have come from the Fill the Nutrient Gap analysis” said Zakir Hossain Akanda, Member Secretary of the Planning Commission of Bangladesh.
“This analysis gives us new insights on the food system, food environment, and also the affordability of nutritious diet for the poor people of Bangladesh.”
Over the past three decades, the government has made great strides in lifting 165 million people out of poverty, according to WFP.
“Bangladesh is a bright example of how Government commitment and coordinated actions can have transformative effects for the population,” said Alpha Bah, Deputy Country Director of WFP in Bangladesh.
“One of the most effective ways of addressing poverty and food insecurity is to reach vulnerable families and communities through the country’s many social safety nets. WFP’s technical expertise has helped the Government improve the reach and impact of some of the most nutrition-sensitive social safety nets, and as a result, the needs of millions of women and their children to healthy and nutritious diets have been met.”
Yet, with high rates of stunting (31%), wasting (8%), micronutrient deficiencies, and a population which is increasingly overweight and obese, a lot remains to be done.
The report calls for urgent actions to improve healthy diets, provide better access to diverse and safe nutritious food.
It also calls to invest in the promotion of supply and demand for nutritious foods, romote healthy dietary habits, incorporating diverse food items at all levels of society.
It laid emphasis on empowering women and girls to improve their nutritional status and the human capital of the population.
Chanel brought its itinerant off-season fashion show the "arts and crafts," with its swath of VIPs including Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard, back to home ground in Paris on Wednesday to mark its first collection since Karl Lagerfeld died earlier this year.
New designer Virginie Viard teamed up with film director Sofia Coppola this season to imagine a cinematic opus that saw the house's 1920s Rue Cambon atelier — replete with crystal chandeliers and mirrored cubist staircase — recreated under the lofty roof of the Grand Palais exhibition space.
Unlike the seasonal collections that trickle down to set high street trends, the "arts and crafts" pre-collection aims at showing off and celebrating the work of the artisans that are the beating heart of Chanel, and the Paris fashion industry as a whole. Celebrating their technical know-how is one way that storied Paris heritage houses have tried to distinguish themselves in the face of increased competition from other fashion capitals, such as New York and Milan.
The first looks, in black with oversized statement shoulders, were simple enough as to let the embellishments do the talking: Large silvery art-deco waist bands with beading, bejeweled cuff bands or large geometric buttons with silver rims. A staple black sweater and knee length skirt were given life with rings of pearls that cascaded down to a black and gold chain belt that resembled the strap of the house's iconic handbag. Camellias adorned ethereal feathers as prints, while ears of wheat were constructed in glimmering gold sequins.
They set the agenda of the show. The fashion panache here was hidden down in the details that were delivered with couture-like finesse.
"The show was incredible," exclaimed Cruz, who reminisced nostalgically about walking around Central Park at midnight with Lagerfeld last December after last year's Egypt-themed Chanel show in New York.
Since 2002, the "arts and crafts" show has traveled around the world to highlight the fashion artistry of Parisian embroiderers, feathermakers, adornment-makers, pleaters, shoemakers, milliners and glovemakers.
After shows in Hamburg, Edinburgh, New York and other far-flung locations, Chanel returned to the French capital where it may be the last chance in a long time to stage it at the Grand Palais, which is scheduled to close for renovations next year ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
This year's homecoming echoes the very first show, held in the salons at 31 Rue Cambon — Chanel's storied Paris atelier.
It was the late house founder Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel who first understood the need to support struggling artisans in the field in the 1950s, culminating in the creation of the body of crafts, Paraffection, in 1985.
This vast network, which employs some 5,000 workers and includes famed embroider Lesage, does not work only for Chanel but also multiple other big names in the fashion industry.
"There is something so generous about how Chanel has supported the Parisian fashion industry as a whole," Cotillard said following the show.
"Chanel is a sort of ambassador for France and Paris over the world and it makes me so proud," she added.
As a spice, the humble Onion has indispensable contribution in Bengali cuisine and recipes. However, due to unprecedented price hike of Onion in recent days, masses of Bangladesh are facing hard times to afford this spice for cooking everyday meals. In this situation, the question arises: is there any substitute for onion in cooking without compromising the taste and flavour?
You can use Onion powder or Onion Flakes instead of raw Onions. If you want to cook without Onion, then let’s check out some smart substitutes of Onion in cooking Bengali cuisines.
Chives are one of the best substitutes of Onion. It can create an Oniony flavor in the recipe with a bonus hint of garlic. Chives look similar to green onions. Through the lens of genetics, Chives plants belong to the broad Onion family. Chives plants bear glass blades like thinner stalks with tiny bulbs.
What most amazed us about Chives is that the whole plant – including upper portion of the Chive Stalks, green glower, and leaves – can be used for cooking. Chives plants are enriched with diverse vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin C, B1, B2, niacin, carotene, and some other mineral contents.
In 2017, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) invented ‘Chieve1’, a high yielding variety of ‘Chive’ crop widely found in China, Mongolia and Siberia. Scientists expect that this local variety can grow in Bangladesh round the year.
Garlic is a popular spice widely used in recipes with Onion. Garlic works as a great substitute when we omit Onion from certain Bengali recipes. However, to replace the Oniony flavor you may have to add a little more Garlic paste depending on the type of cuisine you wanna cook. Garlic is rich in zinc, iron, Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, and C), folate, sodium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and phosphorous.
While cooking Bengali recipes, Onion plays a great role in condensing the gravy. You can use chopped vegetables like carrots and tomatoes to substitute this thickening effect of Onion in gravies, different curries, soups, salads, etc.
You can also apply diced Bell Pepper in cooking as gravy thickener. Thinly chopped Cabbage can also replace the flavor of Onions in some dishes. Furthermore, Grated veggies like Bottle Gourd, Ridge Gourd or Snake Gourd can substitute Onion in a variety of dishes, including curries, soups, gravies, desserts, etc.
Melon and cumin seeds could be another smart substitute of Onion. Create a mixture of freshly ground Melon seeds, Cumin seeds, Yogurt, Coconut Paste or milk. This fusion can perform great to thicken the gravy of any curry. You also use Cashews, but it is more expensive than Onion.
Fresh ginger can stand as a smart substitute to Onion for many Bengali recipes. It may perform better if used with garlic paste. Ginger is rich in Vitamin B3, B6, and C, Phosphorus, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, Zinc, Riboflavin, Potassium and Niacin.
Dried Fennel seeds are one of the most common spices used in Bengali recipes. In the country, Fennel seeds are popular as ‘Mouri’. Fennel has an anise resembling flavor. You can use all parts – foliage, bulb, plant and seeds – of this aromatic herb in the process of cooking and food preparation. Bearing medicinal properties, Fennel seeds are enriched with manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Onion is used in the preparation of various recipes for rendering aromatic flavor. When you don’t have Onion in your kitchen don’t panic! You can put chopped Celery to your gravies, curies, sauces and soups to imitate the Oniony flavor. Celery is rich in diverse vitamins and minerals including Vitamins (A, C, and K), Folate, and Potassium.
This spice is highly popular in Indian recipes for its pungent flavor. Depending on the quantity, it takes only one or two pinch of Asafetida or Hing to prepare a dish, in general. However, this spice is not widely available in Bangladesh.
Undoubtedly, it is hard to find an exact alternative to Onion, as it plays a versatile role in creating flavour, taste and texture in Bengali cuisine. However, Chives can be a potential substitute for Onion, if produced in the country. In this article, we have discussed some other Spices and vegetables, as smart alternatives to Onion. If you are a little creative with recipes, you can replace the taste and flavour of Onion with these spices and vegetables available in the country. Thus we can combat the ongoing crisis without breaking the bank.
Million-selling novelist Adriana Trigiani has a new publisher, but a familiar editor.
Dutton announced Tuesday that it had reached a two-book deal with the author, whose previous works include "The Shoemaker's Wife" and the "Big Stone Gap" series.
Trigiani had for years been published by HarperCollins, where she was edited by Maya Ziv, now with Dutton. "I love a reunion," Trigiani said in a statement. "Maya Ziv is a glorious editor, and I'm thrilled to be working with her again."
Her first book for Dutton, a Penguin Random House imprint, will be called "The Garden of Sundays" and will draw upon the author's life to explore such themes as home and love and grief. No release date has been set.
Trigiani, 50, is also a playwright and filmmaker who helped adapt her novel "Very Valentine" for Lifetime last summer.