Marma, Chakma, Monipuri, Tripura, and many more languages have resided in Bangladesh for centuries. The Ekushey Boi Mela is an occasion that binds all these languages together and celebrates the power of mother tongue. Treasuring Gaaro literature and preserving their culture, ethos, art and beliefs, Thokbirim (meaning Bornomala in Gaaro language), a publication house, has brought around 400 different books to the fair this year.
Editor Mithun Raksham took the initiative to gift Bangla language readers with a taste of their local folklores, poems, short stories, and novels for the last three years.
Father Terence Rodrigues bought a copy of Valobasha, Valo Theko, by Gourab G Pathang. “Gourab was my student and seeing his name as an author on a book makes me feel proud,” he said. “With him and many other young Gaaro writers giving us a way to explore their art, music, heritage and literature, this is a great initiative as not many translated pieces of literature are available for local readers.”
This year, eight Gaaro writers including Neelu Ruram, Shumona Chisim, Motendro Mankhin, Sharad Mrong, and Gourab Pathang have come up with different books under the banner of Thokbirim.
Moreover, books on Gaaro origins, heritage, lifestyle and livestock are available for local and international readers. They also have books about Gaaro festivals, religious customs and traditional practices among other areas.
For any reader who wants to explore Gaaro literature, make sure you drop by at Stall no 21 at the fair.