Preparations on in full swing for Mongol Shovajatra
Published : 31 Mar 2018, 12:51
Making of paintings, replicas and masks for making the Mangol Shovajatra (procession of good wishes) successful and meaningful are going on in full swing.
The Mangol Shovajatra is being arranged to mark the Pahela Baishakh on April 14 as every year while the government has also taken some measures to observe it nationally this year.
A meeting held on March 25 in Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy said that every upazilas, zillas, divisional administrations, and embassies of Bangladesh in different countries are asked to arrange Mongol Shovajatra in their respective area as it got recognition from UNESCO as an intangible part of cultural heritage.
Every year on April 14 (Pohela Boishakh), students of the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University bring out the main procession as part of the celebration of the first day of Bangla calendar while the DU vice-chancellor leads the rally in the morning with different themes in the traditional manner.
Visiting the fine arts faculty premises, students were busy making colourful and different paintings, replicas and masks representing the local tradition while visitors and former students of the faculty were visiting premises to see the preparation work and makings.
This year’s preparation works include making of paintings, replicas and masks organised by the Fine Arts faculty and supervised by the students of the 20th batch of the faculty.
One of the joint-conveners and students of the 20th batch of the Department of Printmaking, Afi Azad Bunty told that their main focus this year is to spread the message of peace as clashes and chaos among the people are increasing day by day.
“Our works will represent the simple lifestyle of the village people who lead their lives in peace compared to the city dwellers. This message will teach people how to lead the life simply avoiding all unwanted clashes and chaos,” Afi Azad said.
He said “We have fixed the rate considering the buying capacity of all walks of life. It is not ordinary shopping. It is the contribution to the celebration. Those who buy a piece of the minimum products means they are the part of it.”
Another student of the 20th batch Fahmida Akter said, “Our works mainly focus on the traditional and folklore side as the Mangol Shovajatra represents Bangladesh’s core culture.”
She added that this special celebration is now part of the international culture. It is a matter pride for them to be part of the member of organizing the work.
The works prepared and designed by the students have also been put on display for sale to raise the fund for bringing out the procession as no sponsor from any private firm is allowed.
They informed that the range of the works has been fixed considering all classes of people. They are selling products ranging in price from Tk50 to Tk20, 000.
The formal preparation work for making the Mangol Shovajatra successful was inaugurated in Fine Arts faculty premises in Dhaka University (DU) campus on March 15.
Veteran artist Rafiqun Nabi inaugurated this year’s activity by painting on a canvas near Zainul Gallery in the DU campus.
Convener of the procession and dean of the Fine Arts faculty Professor Nisar Hossain and chairman of the department of Drawing and Painting Professor Shishir Bhattacharya were also present in the opening programme.
The celebrations of Pahela Baishakh have become an integral part of Bengali culture since its beginning almost six centuries back.
Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then ‘Subah Bangla’ region, much of which falls under Bangladesh. The day is a public holiday.
Mangol Shovajatra features large colourful masks, various animal-shaped carnival floats, and replicas of birds, butterflies, charka, traditional dolls and other motifs of Bangladeshi culture.
Charupath, a Jessore-based cultural organisation, organised Mongol Shovajatra for the first time.
The decision of inscribing Mangol Shovajatra on Unesco's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was taken on November 30, 2016, at the 11th session of the intergovernmental committee on intangible cultural heritage, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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