Describe the culture and festivals of Bangladesh.
Explain the different types of culture and festivals of Bangladesh.
Answer: Bangladesh is a country of multi culture. The culture of Bangladesh refers to the way of life of the people of Bangladesh. The Bengal Renaissance of the 19th and early 20th centuries, noted Bengali writers, saints, authors, scientists, researchers, thinkers, music composers, painters, and film-makers have played a significant role in the development of Bengali culture. The Bengal Renaissance contained the seeds of a nascent political Indian nationalism and was the precursor in many ways to modern Indian artistic and cultural expression. The culture of Bangladesh is composite and over the centuries has assimilated influences of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. It is manifested in various forms, including music, dance, and drama; art and craft; folklore and folktale; languages and literature; philosophy and religion; festivals and celebrations; as well as in a distinct cuisine and culinary tradition.
Festivals and celebrations are a fundamental part of the culture of Bangladesh. Prominent and widely celebrated festivals are Pohela Boishakh, Independence day, National Mourning Day, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Durga puja, and Language Movement Day.
Eid ul-Fitr: Eid ul-Fitr As the most important religious festival for the majority of Muslims, the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr has become a part of the culture of Bangladesh. The government of Bangladesh declares the holiday for three days on Eid-ul Fitr. All outgoing public transport from the major cities have become highly crowded and in many cases the fares tend to rise in spite of government restrictions. On Eid day, the Eid prayer are held all over the country, in open areas like fields or inside mosques. After the Eid prayers, people return home, visit each other’s home and eat sweet dishes called shirni. Throughout the day gentlemen embrace each other. It is also customary for junior members of the society to touch the feet of the seniors, and seniors returning blessings (sometimes with a small sum of money as a gift). In the rural areas, the Eid festival is observed with great fanfare. In some areas Eid fares are arranged. Different types of games including boat racing, kabaddi, and other traditional Bangladeshi games, as well as modern games like cricket and football are played on this occasion. In urban areas, people play music, visit each other’s houses and eat special food. Watching movies and television programs has also become an integral part of the Eid celebration in urban areas. All local TV channels air special program for several days for this occasion.
Eid ul-Ajha: Eid ul Ajha The most important religion festival. The celebration of Eid ul-Adha is similar to Eid ul-Fitr in many ways. The only big difference is the Qurbani or sacrifice of domestic animals on Eid ul-Adha. Numerous temporary marketplaces of different sizes called haat operate in the big cities for sale of Qurbani animals (usually cows and goats). In the morning on the Eid day, immediately after the prayer, affluent people slaughter their animal of choice. Less affluent people also take part in the festivity by visiting houses of the affluent who are taking part in qurbani. After the qurbani, a large portion of the meat is given to the poor people. Although the religious doctrine allows the sacrifice anytime over a period of three days starting from the Eid day, most people prefer to perform the ritual on the first day of Eid. However, the public holiday spans over three to four days. Many people from the big cities go to their ancestral houses and homes in the villages to share the joy of the festival with friends and relatives.
Pohela Boishakh: Pohela Boishakh Pôhela Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali calendar. It is usually celebrated on 14 April. Pohela Boishakh marks the start day of the crop season. Usually on Pôhela Boishakh, the home is thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned; people bathe early in the morning and dress in fine clothes. They spend much of the day visiting relatives, friends, and neighbours and going to the fair. Fairs are arranged in many parts of the country where various agricultural products, traditional handicrafts, toys, cosmetics, as well as various kinds of food and sweets are sold. The fairs also provide entertainment, with singers, dancers and traditional plays and songs. Horse races, bull races, bullfights, cockfights, flying pigeons, and boat racing were once popular. All gatherings and fairs consist a wide spread of Bengali food and sweets. The most colourful New Year’s Day festival takes place in Dhaka. Large numbers of people gather early in the morning under the banyan tree at Ramna Park where Chhayanat artists open the day with Rabindranath Tagore’s famous song, Esho, he Boishakh, Esho esho (Come, year, come, come). A similar ceremony welcoming the new year is also held at the Institute of Fine Arts (Dhaka) and University of Dhaka. Students and teachers of the institute take out a colourful procession and parade to round the campus. Social and cultural organisations celebrate the day with cultural programmes. Newspapers bring out special supplements. There are also special programmes on radio and television. Prior to this day, special discounts on clothes, furniture, electronics and various deals and shopping discounts are available. Special line of sarees, usually cotton, white sarees with red print and embroidery is sold before this day as everyone dresses up for this day. Jasmine flowers are also a huge sale for this event which adorns the women’s hair.
Wedding: Wedding A traditional wedding is arranged by Ghotoks (matchmakers), who are typically friends or relatives of the couple. The matchmakers facilitate the introduction, and also help agree the amount of any settlement. Bengali weddings are traditionally in five parts: first it is the bride and groom’s Mehendi Shondha, the bride’s Gaye Holud, the groom’s Gaye Holud, the Beeya, and the Bou Bhaat. These often take place on separate days. The first event in a wedding is an informal one: the groom presents the bride with a ring marking the “engagement” which is gaining popularity. For the mehendi shondha the bride’s side apply henna to each other as well as the bride for the bride’s Gaye Holud, the groom’s family – except the groom himself – go in procession to the bride’s home. Bride’s friends and family apply turmeric paste to her body as a part of Gaye Hoof bride, and they are traditionally all in matching clothes, mostly orange in colour. The bride is seated on a dais, and the henna is used to decorate the bride’s hands and feet with elaborate abstract designs. The sweets are then fed to the bride by all involved, piece by piece. The actual wedding ceremony “Biye” follows the Gaye Holud ceremonies. The wedding ceremony is arranged by the bride’s family. On the day, the younger members of the bride’s family barricade the entrance to the venue, and demand a sort of admission charge from the groom in return for allowing him to enter. The bride and groom are seated separately, and a Kazi (authorized person by the govt. to perform the wedding), accompanied by the parents and a Wakil (witness) from each side formally asks the bride for her consent to the union, and then the groom for his. The bride’s side of the family tries to play some kind of practical joke on the groom such as stealing the groom’s shoe. The reception, also known as Bou-Bhaat (reception), is a party given by the groom’s family in return for the wedding party. It is typically a much more relaxed affair, with only the second-best wedding outfit being worn.
International Mother Language Day:
International Mother Language Day is an observance held annually on 21 February 21st February worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages.
International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since 2000 February to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students from different educational institutions such as Dhaka University, Jagannath University, Dhaka Medical College demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bengali, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka (near High Court), which is the capital of present day Bangladesh.
It is worth noting that the term “mother language” is, itself, a somewhat awkward calque translation of the term used in a number of so-called “Romance languages”—e.g., lengua materna (Spanish), lingua madre (Italian), langue maternal (French), and so on. A more fluent English translation would perhaps be “mother tongue,” though “native language” is the most readily comprehensible term in English. In linguistics, in fact, “mother language” refers to an ancestral or protolanguage of a particular branch of a language family.
Independence Day of Bangladesh:
The Independence Day of Bangladesh (Bengali: স্বাধীনতা দিবস Shadhinata Dibôsh), also referred to as 26 March, is a national holiday. It commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from Pakistan in the late hours of 25 March 1971 by the “Father of the Nation” Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before he was arrested by Pakistani forces. Independence Day
History: On 26 March 1971 the independence of Bangladesh was declared and the Liberation War began. The people of then-East Pakistan took part in this war to liberate Bangladesh from the oppression of military leaders of Pakistan. Independence for Bangladesh was gained through a nine-month civil war against the Pakistani Army, which resulted in the loss of about 3 million lives. The Mukti Bahini (Bengali “freedom fighters”), with military support from India, defeated the Pakistani Army on 16 December in the same year, which is celebrated as Victory Day.
Celebrations: Independence Day is commonly associated with parades, political speeches, fairs, concerts, and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, and traditions of Bangladesh. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs in honor of Independence Day. Generally, a thirty-one gun salute is conducted in the morning. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including the paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial at Savar near Dhaka.
Victory day (Bengali: বিজয় দিবস Bijôy Dibôs) is a national holiday in Bangladesh celebrated on December 16 to commemorate the victory of the Allied forces High Command over the Pakistani forces in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The Commanding officer of the Pakistani Forces General AAK Niazi surrendered his forces to the Allied forces commander Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, which marked ending the 9 month-long Bangladesh Liberation War and 1971 Bangladesh genocide and officially secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.
Celebration: The celebration of Victory Day has taken place since 1972. The Bangladesh Liberation War became a topic of great importance in cinema, literature, history lessons at school, the mass media, and the arts in Bangladesh. The ritual of the celebration gradually obtained a distinctive character with a number of similar elements: Military Parade by Bangladesh Armed Forces at the National Parade Ground, ceremonial meetings, speeches, lectures, receptions and fireworks. Victory Day in Bangladesh is a joyous celebration in which popular culture plays a great role. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including the paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial at Savar near Dhaka.
Durga Puja: The day of Durga Puja is a holiday in Bangladesh as the Durgaf Puja is the biggest festival of Hindu religion inb Bangladesh. Durga Puja is celebrated for 5 days. The days are called “mahalaya (5th)”, “sasthi (6th), “Moha Soptomi(7th), “Moha Ostomi (8th),”moha Nobomi (9th), and last day that means Durga Puja is called “Bijoya Dosomi”. Idol of Goddess Durga immersed in river on last day of Durga Puja and with this ritual day of Durga Puja concluded.
Ritual of the Durga Puja observed traditionally. Hindu community organizes different programs. Most of the Hindu people go temple for worshipping. They visit different temple on Durga Puja and celebrate the day with great enjoyment.
Christmas Day: As like as other countries, Christmas is one of the most important religious festival of the Christians believers. As the universal spirit is loving, serving and understanding others. In this day the followers forget the social class, inequality, resentment, differences and however share love with joy and happiness as did Jesus. Bangladeshi christian gather in churches and join in special pray for national and personal prosperity. During Christmas Bangladeshi christian celebrate with family get-together however visit relatives and friends house of exchange love and best wishes. They follow rituals and give donation to the helpless neighbors and relatives. Along with Christmas carols they decorate house and made special food, sweets and cakes in this day. The food and gift has been distributed in the party where typical Christmas greetings exchange.
The celebrations starts on Christmas Eve, normally with the singing of the carols. In Dhaka, a global event has been organized regularly in five star hotels like [B]Sheraton Hotel and The Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel[/B] with exotic lighting and Christmas tree decoration. The hotels serve special menu with special price as well.