Aimed at showcasing the culture of different indigenous communities of Bangladesh and Norway, a cultural exchange programme was held at Patiya in Chittagong on Sunday.
Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Arts (BITA) organised the programme at its auditorium where representatives of the Sami National Theatre, a famous theatre of indigenous Sami community of Norway and representatives of different tribal and indigenous community of Bangladesh like Chakma, Mro, Tanchangya were present.
The programme featured experience sharing, flute recitals by different indigenous artistes and a play highlighting how human beings are destroying Nature.
At the programme, Haukur J Gunnarson, artistic director of The National Sami Theatre of Norway, said to highlight indigenous Sami culture before the world the theatre was established in 1981. The theatre, which uses Sami dialects on stage beside English and Norwegian subtitles, tours every year in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia, the countries where most of the Sami people reside.
“Sami people have their unique folk vocal music called yoik,”said the Sami theatre activist adding that at present they were involved in presenting Sami art, culture and literature before the world. Anitta Suikkari, a prominent actress of the National Sami Theatre, said that the people of Bangladesh are friendly and she is very happy to see the response from the audience of Bangladesh.
At the beginning, BITA Executive Director Sisir Dutta said that the opulent traditions and musical instruments of the indigenous communities like Chakma, Tanchangya and Mro community are disappearing day by day.
He stressed on preserving the rich heritage and cultures of indigenous people.
Theatre activists Olav Johan Eira and Svein Egil Oskal also addressed.
Later, BITA activists played a short drama. Performers from Chak, Tanchangya and Mro communities played their traditional flutes at the programme.