On the occasion of Laxmi Puja, the 154-year-old traditional Laxmi Puja Nauka Baich (boat race) was held on the river Sandhaya at Harta in Uzirpur upazila of Barisal district, to promote indigenous sports and rural traditional regional culture.
The event was organised by Harta Bazaar Committee to celebrate the Puja on Tuesday afternoon, said Dr. Harendranath Roy, Harta UP chairman and president of the arrangement committee and ceremony.
Thousands of people including senior officials of the upazila and district administration and local government representatives enjoyed the 2km race.
Fifteen teams, including two teams of women from the region, participated in the competition.
The teams, led by Surendranath Bain emerged as the champion while the teams of Ranjit Bala and Nityananda Bala received prizes as first and second runners-up.
All the 15 participating teams were awarded colour televisions.
Even though most people who live on the Sandhaya face hardships throughout the year, the villagers set aside one day for their families to come together and celebrate a common culture, irrespective of their religions, said Dr. Haren Roy, local UP chairman and the president of the organisers.
Songs and music played from the boats added to the ambience of the boat race.