Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Rabindranath Tagore, the literature Nobel Laureate, was a Bengali, and the cultural tradition that was his birthright is still to be found and honored in Bangladesh.

The music that haunts the villages and the city halls, the songs that rouse and soothe the poetry that stimulates the romantic remains in its diversity.

From February 1st, the National Street Theatre Festival kicked off in Dhaka, with thirty five theatre troupes from Dhaka taking part. A annual festival, the festival will move to other cities throughout the month.

The same day, the 24th National Poetry Festival opened at Dhaka University Library. Just two of myriad opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the cultural pleasures of this largely rural based nation.

TV may have reached all but the deepest recesses of the land, but any organization wishing to communicate with peoples in a land where literacy rates are fairly low know that theatre or song are the most effective forms.

Traveling the countryside, large awnings are sometimes to be found stretched across harvested fields: village festivals will sound there far into the night!

Wales was once described as the land of song, but where miner’s choirs no longer render ‘We’ll keep a welcome in the hillside’, perhaps the Bangladeshi communities, with this remarkable tradition, could keep the streets of those valleys echoing with songs and poetry?

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