As part of a campaign to raise awareness about conservation of archaeological sites, Reema Islam, a conservation advocate and enthusiast, is conducting a series of school programmes to get children interested. Below is the winner of an essay competition held at the Canadian International School after a session on the importance of archaeological conservation.
During our Bangladesh Studies class three people came to our school to discuss our country's diverse geography and unique history. The guests presented three different, yet interrelated topics about our culture, heritage, geography and history. Reema Islam gave a well spoken presentation about the importance of historical sources and significant structures internationally and in Bangladesh. Md. Shohrab Uddin, Assistant Dean, Department of Archaeology, at the University of Comilla told us about the excavations in Bikrampur. He even invited our class to visit the site for a first-hand experience. Mannan Mashrur Zarif on the other hand, was a philatelist, who gave us a presentation about the history of stamps, their many uses and importance in Bangladesh and how they shape our culture today. Every single one of the presentations made me curious to find out more about our country. I feel that the culture and heritage of Bangladesh need to be preserved the way it is because it identifies the history of Bangladesh.
The events of the past are what lead to the shaping of culture and people of the present Bangladesh. That is why it is important to preserve history to remind people what exactly brought them to the place where they are today. One way to do this is to remember significant dates and events that took place in the past which brought a great change to our heritage. I want to do this by telling people about the past; about the events and about the stories which I think are inspirational and brought peace and harmony to our people. I want people to know how they got to be where they are today; how history has changed the course of their lives.
Seeing is believing and seeing something personally is a better way to believe in it than to just hear stories about it. Many people of my age care less about the history and culture that made a great difference to the course of our lives. I want to encourage people to understand their history better by going to such historical places and joining in on activities that pull you back into the reality of the past. Visiting places like Lalbagh Kella, Paharpur, Mainamati and Shat Gombuj Mosque can help people appreciate the history and culture of our country. I want people and historians from all over the world to know that there is a country in the Sub-continent called Bangladesh that is home to one of the most original and astoundingly unique histories and cultures of the world.