Starting with modest beginnings in 1934, the British Council is currently operating over 190 offices in almost every part of the world, and with over 60 years of operation in Bangladesh, to mark the occasion, British Council Dhaka organized a nationwide competition called Tell-Your-Tale, held across October and November. In response, people across the country have shared their personal tales of growth and fond memories of engagement with the British Council in Bangladesh.
The British Council organized an award ceremony to honour the participants of the competition on Sunday, 14 December 2014, at the Fuller Road branch in Dhaka. The best ten stories will be published in the Daily Star's Shout magazine, the winners receiving library memberships, English learning CDs, and much more. Professor Dr. A K Azad Chowdhury, Chairman (State Minister), University Grants Commission, was present as the chief guest. Cultural personality Aly Zaker was present as the special guest.
Aly Zaker talked about the contributions that British Council has had on the theater scene in Dhaka, recounting the story of the first professional production of Shakespeare's Macbeth in Bangladesh, and the socio-political shockwaves it had during the tumultuous years of coups and counter-coups in the late 70's. He thanked British Council for the workshops and partnerships with foreign theater figures, as it helped develop a fledgling arts community here back then.
Dr. A K Azad Chowdhury recounted his personal relationship with the British Council library, and how he fell in love with the works of the poet William Wordsworth. “Despite being a student of biochemistry, I found myself immersed in the world of literature, surrounded by the tomes of knowledge at the library.”
The Chairman of University Grants Commission also highlighted how the British Council has been a vital institution for students to engage with, and stressed on the importance of acting as a bridge between local students and UK universities. He also applauded the recent activities of the British Council in enriching the ICT and English language skills of young women in Bangladesh, and spoke highly of the Commonwealth Scholarships handed to aspiring academics in the past. He expressed hope that the British Council will continue enriching and broadening the minds of the local students, at every level.
British Council's country director, Robyn Davis, made the closing remarks: "Everybody's story has been about heartfelt interactions between them and the British Council. We would like to thank them and we can only hope to nurture this relationship in the future."