Ujan hosts award-giving ceremony for book review contest on Korean Literature
Bangladeshi publishing house Ujan Prokashan organised a book review contest where participants had to review Korean Literature on Monday, November 8.
Prizes were handed over to the top three winners along with 10 others in a ceremony that took place in the National Museum's Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium, wherein Honourable State Minister for Cultural Affairs, KM Khalid, His Excellency Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republican Korea in Bangladesh, Lee Zhang-Kyun, and Director General of Bangla Academy, poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, graced the ceremony and awarded the winners.
The two books that were to be reviewed as part of the contest were Korear Golpo (Short Stories of Korea), edited by Soroishwarja Muhommod, and Korear Kobita (Poems of Korea), translated by Chhanda Mahbub. Both translations were published by Ujan Prakashan and assisted by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, who also helped organise the contest.
His Excellency, Ambassador Lee Zhang-Kyun, thanked Ujan Prokashan for translating Korean literature and for organising the event. "In 2023 Republic of Korea and Peoples' Republic of Bangladesh will celebrate the diplomatic tie of 50 years. In future, South Korea will be with Ujan Publication house for such events and initiatives", he said.
Soroj Mostafa (Golam Mostafa), Elius Babar, and Mazeda Mujib obtained the first, second, and third positions in the competition, and the other 10 winners were Milu Hasan, Zahid Sohag, Shirajum Monira, Samprity Mallick, Alat Ehsan, Harun Sumon Rashid, Rummana Jannat, Fahad Hossain Fahim, Hasan Jamil, and Abida Tahsin Promi.
The first place winner received BDT 20,000, second place winner received BDT 15,000, and third place winner received BDT 10,000 in cheques as well as congratulatory certificates. Each of the 10 selected candidates were given a book coupon worth Taka 5,000.
"Korean poems felt like our regional works and the true essence of literature does not fail to impact the minds of readers," first prize winner Mostafa said while sharing his experiences. Second prize winner Babor urged Ujan to continue its efforts in promoting literature across generations. Mujib regarded literature as a source of great fascination and described the lively nature of translations.
Sultan Ahmed, coordinator of Ujan and the organiser of the event and the competition, said, "We want to accelerate the process to strengthen the communication between Bangladeshi readers with different language literature. We believe that knowing many cultures and loving the culture of others will accelerate and expand our own culture and sense of humanity."
During his speech, Honourable State Minister for Cultural Affairs, KM Khalid emphasised on the importance of exchanging culture, literature, art and ideas to enrich the world of knowledge and consciousness of the people of the country.
"In order to establish a society free from the evils of violence, hatred and communal disparity, it is essential to focus on cultural prosperity in terms of sustainable development," he said.
The South Korean ambassador shed light on the relations between the two countries and praised initiatives that aid in promoting a better understanding. He also assured cooperation in translating the literature of Bangladesh and Bengali into Korean. "Cultural connections would help us cement this relationship as literature connects the minds of people. As we celebrate language and literature, let us not forget the power a pen holds," he added.
Poet Muhammad Nurul Huda highlighted that translation is the first language of mankind and English is a medium that helps connect these diverse languages. "Certain translations lose the original meaning as many terms are not available and we need to depend on footnotes. For overcoming this barrier, we need a collaborative approach," he concluded.
Maisha Islam Monamee is a medical student who likes reading, scribbling, and blogging. Follow @monameereads on Instagram.