Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNB) – The two-day long “Jatiya Nabanna Utsab” kicked off on Thursday at Bakultala of the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University (DU) as part of the countrywide celebrations with this year's theme "Esho Mili Shobe Nabanyer Utshobe".
Jatiya Nabanna Utsab Udjapan Parishad, the celebration committee of the festival, chalked out different day-long cultural activities including Folk songs, Lalon giti, Tagore song and dance to welcome the first day of Bengali month Agrahayan.
Eminent Cultural personality Ramendra Majumder officially inaugurated the cultural programme around 7:00 am.
Poets, painters, musicians, bauls and people from all walks of life joined together at the DU campus to celebrate the festival.
First part of the celebration was ended following a ‘Nabanya Shobhajatra' that started from Charukala around 9:30 am and paraded the entire campus.
President of Sommilito Sangskritik Jote, Golam Kuddus, organiser Laila Hasan and convener of the organising body Shahriar Salam, among others, attended the inauguration session.
A total of 1200 artistes of 68 cultural organisations are participating in the two-day long celebration.
Geneva, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) — Christie's sold the "Pink Legacy" diamond at auction Tuesday for more than $50 million including fees, saying it's a new world record price per carat for a pink diamond.
Christie's said renowned jeweler Harry Winston was the buyer. The auction house had expected to fetch $30 million to $50 million for the nearly 19-carat, rectangular-cut stone, the largest fancy vivid pink diamond that it has ever put under the hammer.
It was the standout offering at Christie's fall jewelry auction in Geneva. The standing-room only ballroom broke into applause after the auctioneer struck down a hammer price of $44.5 million. That excludes the standard "buyer's premium" and other fees.
All told, the diamond went for $50.375 million, including the fees.
The stone once belonged to the Oppenheimer diamond family, and Christie's says it's among the most chemically pure gems — with little if any nitrogen.
Rahul Kadakia, Christie's head of international jewelry, said the auction house has sold only four diamonds weighing more than 10 carats of the same color in its 251 years in business.
Christie's chairman for Europe, Francois Curiel, called the stone the "Leonardo da Vinci" of diamonds.
"The 'Pink Legacy' ... brought this extremely high price of $50 million — so $2.6 million per carat, which is a world record price for a pink diamond. The previous record was $2.1 million, but for a much larger stone: Over 50 carats," Curiel said.
Christie's sale kicks off two days of jewelry auctions in Geneva. On Wednesday, Sotheby's will auction jewelry once owned by French Queen Marie Antoinette that hadn't been seen in public for 200 years.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) – A five-day Iranian film show ended in Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna cities on Tuesday.
Iran Cultural Centre in Dhaka and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) jointly orgnaised the film show at BSA premises of the district units.
The festival got appreciable response with satisfactory presence of audiences, said a press release of Iranian cultural centre.
Earlier on November 8, as part of series film festival, the five-day Iranian film festival started in the districts where audiences were able to enjoy films without any entry fee.
Dhaka, Nov 9 (UNB) – The second day of Dhaka Literature Festival 2018 filled the premises of Bangla Academy on Friday with the same amount of enthusiasm from visitors thronging the venue and attending speakers and authors as the first.
Celebrated Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala, originally from Nepal, graced the festival in an insightful dialogue with the award-winning actress-turned-director Nandita Das titled ‘Breaking Bad’ at the Abdul Karim Shahitya Bisharad Auditorium that event co-director Sadaf Saaz moderated.
Das and Koirala crafted very different paths within India"s vast, multi-layered film industry, which allowed them to bring a whole range of perspectives into the discussion.
In the 90-minute session they engaged on everything from various contemporary social ills to the much talked-about #metoo movement.
At the inception, the Sadaf Saaz lauded both actresses remarking about their career with ample contribution from the audience.
Manisha Koirala, who recently battled cancer, talked about her upcoming book on the matter titled "Healed" releasing in 2019.
She also remarked about her acting career saying "I always wanted to break the stereotypical women character in Bollywood."
"To me satisfaction is much more meaningful than profit," she added.
When asked about her current status in acting she said that she wants to "venture outside known territory" regarding the character in cinema.
Nandita Das spoke about her emergence as an actress and also as a director, mentioning her first directorial venture ‘Firaaq’ (2008) which was critically acclaimed.
“When we (women) direct movies we never consciously think about making it as a woman," she further said.
Later though she pointed to certain stereotypes in the industry that tend to stick to one’s identity as a woman, never letting them forget that society constantly evaluates them on feminine attributes.
Manisha resonated with her and stated that women make up just 20% or less of the cinema industry.
Manisha Koirala expressed her hope regarding the current generation upon being asked about the crude commercial portrayal of women.
"Slowly, a few male and female directors are making movies that don’t cast women stereotypically," she said.
Regarding the current #metoo movement which took the world by storm, both the speakers expressed grave concern.
"There should be a serious enquiry into each case and if found guilty there should be punishment," Manisha said.
But women should not always play the "poor me" card, she further remarked.
Nandita echoed the same sentiment while appreciating the young women daring to come forward to challenge the status quo.
"Today’s younger women are more intolerant to any kind of harassment which is a great thing," Nandita added.
After the dialogue they engaged in a Question and Answer session that saw many comments and queries emerging from the rapt audience.
Washington, Nov 9 (AP/UNB) — Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book, writing how she reacted in shock the night she learned he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to "block it all out."
She also denounces Trump's "birther" campaign questioning her husband's citizenship, calling it bigoted and dangerous, "deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
In her memoir "Becoming," set to come out Tuesday, Obama writes openly about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism in public life to her amazement at becoming the country's first black first lady. She also reflects on early struggles in her marriage to Barack Obama as he began his political career and was often away. She writes that they met with a counselor "a handful of times," and she came to realize that she was more "in charge" of her happiness than she had realized. "This was my pivot point," Obama explains. "My moment of self-arrest."
Obama writes that she assumed Trump was "grandstanding" when he announced his presidential run in 2015. She expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a "misogynist" over Hillary Clinton, "an exceptionally qualified female candidate." She remembers how her body "buzzed with fury" after seeing the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.
She also accuses Trump of using body language to "stalk" Clinton during an election debate. She writes of Trump following Clinton around the stage, standing nearby and "trying to diminish her presence."
Trump's message, according to Obama, in words which appear in the book in darkened print: "I can hurt you and get away with it."
The Associated Press purchased an early copy of "Becoming," one of the most anticipated political books in recent memory. Obama is admired worldwide and has offered few extensive comments on her White House years. And memoirs by former first ladies, including Clinton and Laura Bush, are usually best-sellers.
Obama launches her promotional tour Tuesday not at a bookstore, but at Chicago's United Center, where tens of thousands of people have purchased tickets — from just under $30 to thousands of dollars — to attend the event moderated by Oprah Winfrey. Other stops on a tour scaled to rock star dimensions are planned at large arenas from New York City's Barclays Center to the Los Angeles Forum, with guests including Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker. While some fans have criticized the price as too high, 10 percent of tickets at each event are being donated to local charities, schools and community groups.
In "Becoming," Obama shares both pain and joy. She writes lovingly of her family and gives a detailed account of her courtship with her future husband, whom she met when both were at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin LLP; she was initially his adviser. Secretaries claimed he was both brilliant and "cute," although Michelle Obama was skeptical, writing that white people went "bonkers" any time you "put a suit" on a "half-intelligent black man." She also thought his picture had a "whiff of geekiness."
But she was more than impressed after meeting him, by his "rich, even sexy baritone" and by his "strange, stirring combination" of serenity and power. "This strange mix-of-everything-man," when she finally let him kiss her, set off a "toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder."
But throughout her husband's life in politics, she fought to balance public and private needs, and to maintain her self-esteem. She agonized over what she feared was a cartoonish, racist image. She remembered being labeled "angry" and, by the Fox network, "Obama's Baby Mama." At times, she feared she was damaging her husband's 2008 presidential campaign, especially after conservatives seized on a line from one of her speeches — taken out of context, she notes — that for the first time as an adult she was "really proud" of her country.
The remarks faded from the news, but she sensed lasting damage, a "pernicious seed," a "perception" that she was "disgruntled and vaguely hostile."
As the first black first lady, she knew she would be labeled "other" and would have to earn the aura of "grace" given freely to her white predecessors. She found confidence in repeating to herself a favorite chant: "Am I good enough? Yes I am."
"Becoming" is part of a joint book deal with former President Barack Obama, whose memoir is expected next year, that is believed worth tens of millions of dollars. The Obamas have said they will donate a "significant portion" of their author proceeds to charity, including the Obama Foundation.
Widely praised as a gifted orator and communicator, Michelle Obama has long said she has no interest in running for office, although she held a few campaign-style rallies before the midterms urging people to register to vote. The rallies were part of her work as co-chairman of the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization When We All Vote.
Last year, she launched a program to help empower girls worldwide through education. The Global Girls Alliance aims to support more than 1,500 grassroots organizations combating the challenges girls encounter in their communities.