'Find Your Bangladesh', an online competition organised by Finding Bangladesh and supported by The British Council Bangladesh, aimed to engage and mentor the youth, on their historical roots. This team based competition, asked each team to identify a historical site in Bangladesh that is being slowly lost with time. The teams set out to find creative ways to better promote, protect, and preserve the location, and in the process learn its related histories, mythologies, legends, and the socio-cultural importance of the site.
Finding Bangladesh, founded in 2008 by Adnan M S Fakir, is an initiative that works on collecting, preserving, and initiating conversations among younger generations about Bangladesh's ancient histories, folklores, mythologies, and legends.
"Competitions and engagements such as these enable the youth to delve deeper into our heritage. Diverse cultures are pivotal in generating interest in the histories of our land," mentions Adnan M S Fakir. "This has been a delightful journey for Finding Bangladesh. It was particularly refreshing to see the inordinate efforts and interest of the younger generations.
The competition went on for the past three months, where 254 youths, from 94 teams, spanning 38 districts and 44 institutions from all over Bangladesh, participated. The finale was held on February 27, where a panel of judges assessed six finalist teams. The judges included Professor Elora Halim Chowdhury from University of Massachusetts Boston, Elita Karim from The Daily Star, Ishita Alam Abonee from The World Bank, Salmeen Rafique from Praava Health, and Md Sohan Haidear from Smartifier Academy.
Samia Sharmin Biva, Musabbir Hossain, and Sabiha Sharmin Eva from team Last Curators, were the champions. Mantaka Junnurain Adrito, Sumaiya Nafees Rafa, and Anindita Das from team Terracotta, were hailed as the first runners-up while Omit Hasan Bipul, Mohammad Rafid Mahmud, and Sadia Eskander Mukta from team Myth Hunter, were awarded the second runners-up title at the finale.
The competition finale was live-streamed on Finding Bangladesh's Facebook page, where the video presentations prepared and submitted by the top six finalists are also available. 'Find your Bangladesh' competition has been the first of its kind in Bangladesh focusing on connecting the youth with the heritages of the country.
"Our biggest learning from this competition is not only gaining knowledge about history , but also manifesting motivation to do something for historical places," shares Mantaka Adrito, team leader, Terracotta. "There are many rich historical establishments all over my country and there are many mysterious stories behind them," shares Omit Hasan Bipul, team leader, Myth Hunters. "By participating in this Competition , we have had the opportunity to discover these mysteries and stories."
"Even though a historical sight mostly consist of bricks and buildings, it becomes alive when we get to know about the history, myths and people behind it," expresses Samia Sharmin Biva, team leader, Last Curators. "The aspects we had to explore to preserve the histories and legends with logical techniques while keeping in mind the promotions and profits we will get from preserving these sights, were mind blowing."