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     Volume 1 Issue 17 | December 3, 2006 |


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Nobanno Utsab of Bengal

Tazmia Islam Nion

'Nabanno,' a traditional annual event marking the harvest of new crop, is celebrated with much fanfare and festive mood all over the country. In the capital, University of Dhaka celebrated this traditional festival in style. Hundreds of girls and boys, attired in traditional dresses, attended the harvest festival, Nabanno Utsab, held at Bakultala at the Institute of Fine Arts in the University campus on Friday.

Every year, the farmers rise to the height of exuberance and enthusiasm with a beaming smile on their faces to celebrate this highly auspicious day, marking the harvest of the season's prime crop - Aman. The main features of Nabanno Utsab in rural Bangladesh is the preparation and distribution of home-made cakes and sweets as well as presentation of folk songs and dance demonstrating the nation's rich cultural heritage.

Though 'Nabanno', the festival of the harvest, is closely connected to the rural culture, urban people are getting more and more involved with the festival. 'Nabanno' is now gaining significant attention of the urban dwellers of Dhaka City.

Jatiya Nabanno Utsab Udjapan Parishad took initiatives to hold the Nabanno Utsab in Dhaka for the last seven years.

The organization arranged a daylong Nabanno Utsab at Bakultala, Institute of Fine Arts at University of Dhaka on Friday. Traditionally the festival is observed on 1st Agrahayan but this year it had to be deferred due to the volatile political situation.

Eminent Poet and language movement veteran Mahbubul Alam Chowdhury inaugurated the daylong function at 7 am. Convener of the program Shahriar Salam, Selina Hossain, Abdus Shukur Shah, Rabiul Hussain, Khushi Kabir and Kamal Lohani addressed the function, highlighting the occasion's thousand-year-old traditional value and spirit. They also demanded that the festival be observed at state level and called for declaring the first day of the Bangla month of Agrahayan a public holiday and also issuance of a stamp marking the day.

Organizers brought out a colorful rally at the university campus at 8:00 am. The festival began with the melody of flute followed by recitations, dance and folk songs, especially Jari and Sari. The members of several cultural organizations also performed traditional dances. The country's leading artistes and cultural organizations, including Udichi, Kachi Kanchar Mela, Khelaghar and Nrityalok also performed on the occasion. There was a painting camp by painters and a competition for children on harvest. The paintings were later put on display. At the Bakultala premises, traditional Pitha and Sweets were sold.

Photo: Prito Reza


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