Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bangladesh Surfer Girl Nasima Akter

Surfing in Bangladesh only started about ten years ago. There is no history for going into the water for enjoyment even though Bangladesh is nearly 50% water by area. Water has always been about fishing or threatening monsoons & shifting ocean levels. It is only in the last couple of years there has been more news about surfing and promoting of the luxury and excitement 'beach life' has to offer.

Nasima surfing the waves in style

So many girls and women are completely unfamiliar of the concept of their own aspirations. A teenage girl learning how to surf doesn’t turn heads around most coastal towns in first world countries, but in Bangladesh (a Muslim country that borders India), 18-year-old local surfer Nasima Akter is the subject of stares and neighborhood gossip. An 18-year-old from Bangladesh has become an unlikely poster girl for female surfers after being forced out of her family home at the age of nine and finding a talent for the sport.

Nasima Akter is inspiring young girls in the fishing town of Cox’s Bazar to go against the conservative Muslim social stigma against swimming in public. She drew the attention and respect of girls  that might have been afraid of what the community would say. She gave them the courage to go out there and do something that they loved, and that empowers them. It is hard to imagine growing up without the freedom to surf in beautiful places or dream what we want to be when we grow up.

Heather Kessinger, a Californian film maker, decided to bring her story to the big screen. A new documentary, The Most Fearless, will debut at film festival. Since that first trip to Bangladesh, the San Francisco-based filmmaker and the cinematographer, Jordan Dozzi have spent months filming with the community in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The working title of Nasima’s story is called The Most Fearless. The film documents her efforts to respect local customs on modesty, wearing a traditional shalwar kameez: baggy trousers and a thigh-length shirt that balloons in the waves. Akter dominates the competition boards of Bangladesh with confidence, consistently beating her male rivals.



Photo courtesy: The web




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