Dhaka, Oct 27 (UNB) – The 10th edition of Bhawaiya Fest was held on Sunday evening at Shilpakala Academy, marking the 118th birth anniversary of Abbasuddin Ahmed, known as the ‘Bhawaiya King’.
Bhawaiya Angan, a research and performance institution dedicated to nurturing Bhawaiya song, arranged the programme hosted by its Chairperson Salma Mostafiz.
Guests at the event included Md Enamul Haque MP, legendary Bhawaiya artist-researcher and younger son of Abbasuddin, Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, and Bangladesh Betar Director General Narayan Chandra Shil.
Speaking on the soulful creations of the ‘Bhawaiya King’, Abbasi said: “Abbasuddin Ahmed was the creator of a whole new dimension in the history of Bangla folk music. He nurtured Bhawaiya songs within his soul.”
He criticised the television channels for not promoting Bhawaiya songs.
Bhawaiya Angan founding Director AKM Mostafizur Rahman said Rangpur is the motherland of Bhawaiya music. “It got popularity in the mainstream thanks to legendary artist Abbasuddin Ahmed. We’re building ‘Abbasuddin Mancha’ in Rangpur’s Bhawaiya Chattar in his honour,” he said.
A workshop on Bhawaiya song was conducted in the afternoon by Rahman. It was attended by 50 artists.
In the second part of the day-long celebration, Bhawaiya performers put on an amazing show. Twenty-five artists from Dhaka, Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Shariatpur, Cumilla and Gazipur paid tributes to Abbasuddin through their performances.
Dhaka, Oct 27 (UNB) - Entrepreneurs and designers from across the country showcased traditional and heritage products at the four-day ‘Heritage Handloom Festival-2019’ that ended here on Saturday.
The festival organised by SME Foundation and Association of Fashion Designers of Bangladesh (AFDB) with support from the Cultural Affairs Ministry began at Gardenia Grand Hall of Gulshan-2 on Wednesday to promote local handloom products and prevent the extinction of traditional items.
Planning Minister MA Mannan inaugurated it as the chief guest.
Products from as many as 15 sectors, including jute, Jamdani, Khadi, Rajshahi silk, cane, bamboo, folk art, Nakshi Kantha, Mirpur Benarasi, Tangail handloom, Sirajganj handloom, Rangamati handloom and Monipuri handloom, were displayed at 45 stalls during the festival.
Besides, seminars, fashion shows, folk dance and musical nights were also arranged on the occasion.
Mexico City, Oct 27 (AP/UNB) — Mexicans paraded in the streets of the capital dressed as elegant skeletons Saturday as the country's Day of the Dead festivities extend in scope and popularity.
Thousands of revelers gathered at the foot of Mexico City's Angel of Independence statue wearing costumes and face paint to imitate the dapper Mexican skeletal figure known as "La Catrina." Some stayed true to character, with high-necked long dresses, while others channeled figures from Mexican folklore such as mariachi crooners in metal-studded black suits, Quinceañera princesses in voluminous dresses or scorned brides left at the altar.
Skeletal images have abounded in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times. But in 1910, when Mexico was living under the exclusionary policies of dictator Porfirio Díaz , illustrator José Guadalupe Posada sketched the image of La Catrina as a tool for social satire.
She dons an oversized hat considered haute couture at a time when elite Mexican women copied Paris fashion trends and powdered their faces to appear more European. The implication was that the extravagance of a few who were accumulating vast wealth was killing others. The dictator was deposed at the start of the Mexican revolution, while the skeletal dame became etched in popular culture.
"She's an iconic part of the death imagery of the Day of the Dead," said R. Andrew Chesnut, a professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University who researches Catholic death culture.
The role of La Catrina in the holiday has been amplified by Hollywood adaptations of Day of the Dead festivities in movies such as Disney's Coco (2017), which featured Victorian architecture in a nod to the cast-iron opulence of the Porfirian era. In another animated film, The Book of Life (2014), a character named "La Muerte," or Lady Death, wears a giant hat and rules an underworld known as "the Land of the Remembered."
Mexicans are mostly proud that their beloved "Dia de Muertos" traditions have gained international recognition, even if the celebration has become more commercial.
"It's the day that we most remember the family members that have gone before us - even though I think we remember them 365 days a year," reflected Susana Jiménez, a grandmother who turned out with braids of yarn on her head, a face painted like a skeleton and a hand-embroidered sarape on her shoulders to support a granddaughter performing a regional dance in the parade.
"This identifies us as a country, and not everyone can say the same, that they have traditions."
Mexico's two-day holiday to honor the dead traditionally begins Nov. 1 — All Saints' Day on the Catholic calendar. In some indigenous communities, family members camp out overnight at their loved ones' grave sites to pay homage.
For others, the vigils are solemn affair at home, a time for reflection. Women like Jiménez erect altars to their departed loved ones, setting out pictures and lighting candles to remember them.
In the case of Mario Díaz, 29, who celebrates the holiday for a solid month, it means setting out tequila, sugar-sprinkled bread called "Pan de Muerto" and enchiladas drenched in green salsa for his deceased godfather. Each day, he replaces the enchiladas, which were his godfather's favorite dish, with a fresh plate.
Díaz, dressed as a rockabilly skeleton, said he's not at all concerned that the holiday may be taking on a more commercial, and international, spirit.
"It's fine as long as the essence isn't lost," he decides, glancing at the carnival-like atmosphere around him, which included drummers banging out music and children getting their faces painted.
That essence has a religious element: before the Spanish conquest, the Aztecs dedicated most of August to their goddess of death, Mictecacihuatl. As part of the Spanish repression of indigenous beliefs, the celebration was moved to coincide with Catholic holidays like All Souls Day.
Celebrant Madai Selbor took inspiration in the melding of Spanish and indigenous cultures for her costume Saturday, dressing as a skeletal La Malinche, the Nahua woman who interpreted for conquistador Hernán Cortés , with whom she also had a child.
Selbor said that if La Malinche could see the death festivities now, "for her this would be like the children of La Malinche celebrating the union of two worlds."
London, Oct 24 (Xinhua/UNB) -- "Chinese Bookshelf," a project which aims to provide local readers an access to Chinese books and culture, was launched Tuesday here.
Located inside Foyles Bookstore at Charing Cross Road, near the British Museum and Chinatown, the "China Bookshelf" introduces more than 100 kinds of books such as literature, folktale, economic publications and political works.
Carmelo Puglisi, head of foreign language books at Foyles Bookstore, told Xinhua that the bookshop has always attached great importance to Chinese books as it started selling them years ago.
"We had introduced books on Chinese culture to the UK and we thought what's available is limited. We try to get more books on arts, literature, politics and history. That's why we decide to join the project," Puglisi said.
Pi Jun, president of China Youth Publishing Group, said the "Chinese Bookshelf" is an important measure to meet Western readers's increasing need to learn about China through high-quality books.
Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to Britain, said in a congratulatory letter to the launching ceremony that the carefully-selected books in the "Chinese Bookshelf" will serve as a bridge for cultural exchanges and a window for Western readers to understand China.
Richard Charkin, a world-renowned publisher and former president of the International Publishers Association, said at the launching ceremony that as an old friend who has been working closely with many Chinese publishers, he is happy to see further globalization of Chinese publishing through projects like "Chinese Bookshelf."
"Chinese publishing has transformed itself in the last 10 to 20 years, and it is now among the leading publishing nations of the world ... I think the more the Chinese and Western publishers can develop global Chinese books, journals, databases, the more understanding there will be between the East and West," he said.
Dhaka, Oct 23 (UNB) – The 91st birth anniversary of country’s legendary poet Shamsur Rahman was observed on Wednesday. The poet was remembered through a reminiscing programme at Bangla Academy.
Arranged at the Academy’s Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Hall, the programme was jointly presented by Bangla Academy, Jatiya Kabita Parishad and Shamsur Rahman Smriti Parishad- and observed with presence of cultural personas along with friends and family members of Poet Shamsur Rahman.
The event was chaired by Bangla Academy President and National Professor Dr Anisuzzaman. Discussion and memorial lecture on Shamsur Rahman’s life and works was joined by historian Professor Syed Anwar Hossain, Literature Magazine ‘Kali O Kolom’ editor Abul Hasnat, Academy’s Director General Habibullah Shiraji, poet Muhammad Nurul Huda and Jatiya Kabita Parishad’s President Poet Muhammad Samad.
Poet’s son Faiyaz Rahman, daughter-in-law Tiya Rahman, Professor Moniruzzaman, Psychologist and writer Mohit Kamal, writer-journalist Nasimun Ara Haque, researcher Dr Israil Khan was present at the event, among others.
“Shamsur Rahman was a rebel against all odds, and always penned his poems profoundly with courage. He will be remembered with great honor till the end of Bengali literature for his remarkable creations”, said Professor Anisuzzaman.
A grand mural of the poet was unveiled in front of the Academy’s Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Hall. A minute of silence was held for the recently deceased writer-translator and Academy’s past employee Arshad Aziz, at the beginning of the event.
The poet was also remembered in this event through the reading and recitations of his poems. Robiul Hussain, Anowara Syed Haque, Kazi Rozy, Lily Haque, Shihab Sarkar, Faruk Mahmud, Hasan Hafiz, Rezauddin Stalin, Nahar Farid Khan, Piyash Majid and Hanif Khan read the poems while Rafiqul Islam, Layla Tarannum Chowdhury Kakoli, Foyzul Alam Pappu and Shahadat Hossain Nipu recited poems of the beloved poet.
Renowned singer Rafiqul Alam and Abida Rahman Setu presented songs from Shamsur Rahman’s poetry while Sahida Rahman Surovi presented a dance recitation.
The programme was jointly hosted by Bangla Academy’s Deputy Director and Poet Dr Aminur Rahman Sultan, Shahadat Hossain Nipu and Jatiya Kabita Parishad’s General Secretary Poet Tariq Sujat.