Chittagong Arts Festival pulls in major turnout | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 27, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 27, 2012

Chittagong Arts Festival pulls in major turnout

A scene from “Amina Shundori” (top).Photo: STAR

Audiences on Saturday evening enjoyed the second and final day's presentation at the Chittagong Arts Festival. The festival was held at the open stage on DC Hill.
The two-day Chittagong Arts Festival started on Friday, and pulled in enthusiastic crowd from all walks of life. Highlight of the programme was mystic singer Shimul Shil. The programme also included presentation of a folk ballet, “Amina Shundori”, that was staged the previous day.
Artistes of the Byom community and Chakma communities presented their traditional songs in their respective languages. Shobdayan Abriti Academy of Cox's Bazar presented Hawla songs (local wedding songs), Hailla songs (songs of farmers) and Gachha Baidyer Pala.
Shimul Shil received a huge round of applause as he came on stage. He started with the Maizbhandari classic, “Ishkul Khuilachhe Re Maula”, written by Ramesh Shil. The audience cheered as his seven-year old daughter Srabanti Shil accompanied him.
This was followed by the staging of “Amina Shundori.” Silence prevailed among the audience as popular singer Milan Chowdhury came on stage to sing the Bandana Geet (devotional song).
“Amina Shundori” was written by the late playwright Sucharit Chowdhury, based on the 17th century folk ballad, “Naser Malum”. Eminent researcher Ashutosh Chowdhury compiled it from folk singers in the 1920s. It was directed by Milan Chowdhury and previously staged in 1976 and 1994.
The festival enabled the audience to savour the diverse flavours of Chittagong's traditional and culture. The festival was funded by AK Khan Foundation.
On Thursday, the festival was inaugurated by veteran revolutionist Binod Bihari Chowdhury.
In his speech, Binod Bihari Chowdhury said, “We all practice our traditions but do not protect it. 'Shonkho Dyang' [the festival] reminds us again that we should be aware of preserving our traditions.”
Journalist and poet Abul Momen said that Chittagong is rich in various customs and heritage, and people feel proud of that.
Latifa Siddique of AK Khan Foundation said, “Due to lack of awareness, we are losing our rich and diverse heritage. Our Foundation is trying to help and protect our culture.”
Babul Jaladas and his troupe played drums with the beautiful tune of flutes played by the artistes of Mrung community at the opening programme.

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