Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | ePaper

Mongol Shobhajatra on Pahela Boishakh

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Sheikh Arif Bulbon :
ongol Shobhajatra is a festival organised by students and teachers of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in the country open to the public to celebrate Pahela Baishakh (New Year’s Day).
Taking place on April 14, the tradition of Mongol Shobhajatra began in 1989 when students, frustrated with having to live under military rule, wanted to bring people in the community hope for a better future.
Members of the university faculty work together a month before the festival to create masks (said to drive away evil forces and allow for progress) and floats.
Among works made for the festival at least one will represent evil, courage and strength and a third, peace. Items to sell on the day are also produced as a source of funding, such as paintings on Bangladesh folk heritage.
The Mongol Shobhajatra festival symbolizes the pride the people of Bangladesh have in their folk heritage, as well as their strength and courage to fight against sinister forces, and their vindication of truth and justice.
It also represents solidarity and a shared value for democracy, uniting people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender or age. Knowledge and skills are transmitted by students and teachers within the community.

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