New Delhi, Nov 8 (AP/UNB) — Toxic smog has shrouded the Indian capital as air quality plummeted to hazardous levels after tens of thousands of people set off a multitude of firecrackers to celebrate the major Hindu festival of Diwali.
With schools closed for holidays, many young children stayed indoors to escape the pollution levels that shot up to 681, as reported by the U.S. Embassy Thursday morning. That's 20 times higher than what's considered safe by the World Health Organization and could cause serious aggravation of heart or lung diseases.
A government organization blamed it on a combination of toxic fumes from the burning of stubbles in agricultural fields and firecrackers.
Revelers flouted the Supreme Court order that firecrackers could be exploded only between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on the festival night on Wednesday.
Tokyo, Nov 6 (Xinhua/UNB) - World-famous Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami will open an archive at his alma mater that includes manuscripts of his works and his massive collection of music, the writer announced here Sunday.
At his first formal news conference in Japan in 37 years, the writer revealed his "dream" plan to open a "Murakami Library" at Waseda University in Tokyo, to store drafts of his best-selling novels, his translation work as well as his collection of vinyl records, according to Japanese local media the Mainichi.
"I'm more than happy if those materials can contribute in any way for those who want to study my works," Murakami said.
"I hope it would be a place for cultural exchanges with positive and open atmosphere," he said.
The writer came up with the idea of donation when he realized that his collection of materials has grown so much over the past 40 years and there was not enough storage space at his home and office.
"I have no children to take care of them and I didn't want those resources to be scattered and lost when I die," he said, adding that he "considered various places" and felt that his alma mater "is the best place."
Born in 1949, Murakami started writing after graduating from Waseda University in 1975. He has published more than 10 novels, a number of collections of short stories and collected essays. His works have been translated into more than 50 languages, among which is his best-known novel, Norwegian Wood, whose drafts will be included in the archive.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) – The 8th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF), an yearly international literature festival, will be held at Bangla Academy premises here on November 8-10.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor will inaugurate festival as the chief guest, organizers of the event came up with the information at a press conference held at Bangla Academy on Monday.
Over 200 writers, performers and thinkers will take part in the 3-day long event comprising over 90 sessions.
Shirshendu Mukhopadhayay, the phenomenal West Bengal author, will also attend the event despite his illness.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson, Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton, award winning Indian actress Manisha Koirala, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner Mohammad Hanif, Ondaatje Prize winner Philip Hensher, Orwell Prize Winner James Meek, noted Bangladeshi writers Syed Manzoorul Islam, Imdadul HaqMilon, Kaiser Haq and Selina Hossain, among others, will speak at the event.
Besides, actress-filmmaker Nandita Das will talk about her newly released acclaimed film Manto at the event, said the organisers.
Other programmes of the festival include book launching, cultural performances, writing workshops, interactive panel discussions and creative sessions for children, said the organisers.
Cambridge short story prize will be awarded at the festival for the first time in Bangladesh.
Highlighting the significance of the festival, Anis Ahmed, one of the directors of DLF, said the festival is an attraction for the invitees from abroad who are amazed by our activities and hospitality which takes the image of Bangladesh to a new height.
He further said that they have already taken up a task of translating ample number of Bangla books for the readers of other languages.
Sadaf Saaz, Director & Producer of the event said, more than 300 foreign guests attended the event from 50 different countries over the past seven years and this year around 40 writers, thinkers and performers from 15 countries will be present at the event.
Zafar Sobhan, Editor of Dhaka Tribune, termed Dhaka Lit Fest as ‘Touchstone of Excellence’ and said it is not only the most prime literature festival in the region but in the whole world which shows Dhaka is second to none in holding a world class literary event.
Brac Bank Head of Communications Zara Jabeen Mahbub, Bangla Academy Director (Admin) Dr. KM Mujahidul Islamand Bangla Tribune Editor Zulfiqer Russell, were present at the press conference.
8th Dhaka Lit Fest is hosted by Bangla Academy with Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune as the Title Sponsors while Brack Bank is the key sponsor along with British Council, a strategic partner of the event.
Orgnisers said tight security measures have been taken centering the event and no bag larger than 5"×10" will be allowed to carry.
Online registration for the event is open at www.dhakalitfest.com/register/.
Dhaka, Nov 4 (UNB) – Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) will hold a discussion following a cultural event titled ‘Aj JibonKhuje Pabi’ to observe the 9th death anniversary of prominent singer Bhupen Hazarika at Jatiya Natyashala Auditorium on Monday.
BSA Director General Liaqat Ali Lucky will preside over the discussion while notable singer Shudakshina Sharma will be present as the special guest.
Liaqat Ali Lucky, Shudakshina Sharma, Dr Sangeeta Kakoti, among others, will perform at the cultural programme.
Dhaka Sangskritik Dal will perform a chorus song while group dance to be performed by BSA dance troupe.
Dhaka, Nov 01 (UNB) - A five-day-long interactive exhibition titled “Healthy Ocean, Healthy People” began at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Thursday.
The exhibition includes life-size animal models, games, a documentary movie, captivating photographs and fascinating facts in attractive displays.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) organized the first-of-its-kind interactive exhibition aiming to exhibit marine wildlife in the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh's efforts to conserve wildlife.
Cultural Ministry Joint Secretary Mahbubur Rahman spoke on the opening ceremony program on behalf of Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor.
The program was also addressed by WCS country representative for Bangladesh Zahangir Alom, Chief Forest conservator of Bangladesh Forest Department Md Shafiul Alam Chowdhury, Fisheries Department Director General Abu Sayed Md Rasehdul Haque and among others.
Organizers said that visitors can explore the amazing diversity of dolphins, whales, sharks and other aquatic creatures in Bangladesh's marine waters and to discover why the survival of these threatened oceanic lives in the Bay of Bengal is critical for the continued growth and well-being of our nation.
A short documentary film on “Marine conservation in Bangladesh” by Helal Sujon commissioned by BCAS Bangladesh was screened in the opening ceremony.
The exhibition is open to all from November 1 to 5 from 11am to 8pm.