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Charukola gears up as Pohela Boishakh nears

  • Published at 11:21 am April 3rd, 2019
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A student from Dhaka University Fine Arts Faculty works on a traditional mask at the faculty premises in Charukola Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The Bangali New Year will be celebrated on April 14

Have you ever wondered what it would be like, if you found yourself in a land of fiery colours where each of your emotions were splashed about in flamboyant festivity? 

Have you ever experienced a spiritual chaos that you enjoyed, or that fulfilled all your senses?

If you want to experience the pomp and splendour of colours and festivity blending together, you should visit the Dhaka University Fine Arts Faculty premises around this time every year. 

Young artists and their teachers work tirelessly, for hours every day, to prepare and raise money for the traditional parade, Mongol Shobhajatra. It takes place on 14 April, the first day of Bangla New Year or Pohela Boishakh at the Fine Arts Faculty, popularly known as Charukola. 

Traditional clay doll and pottery are on sale in Charukola premises |Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneThis year the theme is "Mostok Tulite Dao Ananto Akashe" which translates to "Let me hold my head high in this limitless sky." This line was selected from a poem of famous Bangali poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Nusrat Jahan Titly, a final year Master’s student of the Drawing and Painting Department, said “Like our alumni of this institute, we try to uphold our folklore, culture, and heritage through our work of art.”

She added that this celebration is no less important than celebrating Eid or Puja, for her. 

“This is the most inclusive festival for Bangalis. People can attend this parade regardless of their religion, gender, or race,” said Titly.

Masks, clay pots, clay oil lamps, origami pieces, hand fans;  an abundance of art pieces are on sale. The price of clay pots range from Tk500 to Tk1000, for origami items from Tk100 to Tk200, and for masks from Tk1000 to Tk2000.  

Students from Dhaka University Fine Arts Faculty are busy making traditional masks at the faculty premises in Charukola |Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneThe students collect funds for the parade by selling their artwork. They never accept  commercial sponsorship because they want to keep the parade unique.  

Another student of the department, Rasel Rana, was busy making masks with clay and paper mache on Tuesday. 

He said he has been doing it for six years and never gets tired of making masks. 

“It gives me a sense of freedom when I make masks from scratch and put colours on them. This year we are aiming to make 400 masks, “he said. 

Mostafizul Haque, professor of the Drawing and Painting Department of Faculty of Fine Arts, said artists of this institution try to bridge all gaps with their creativity and positivity. 

From giant clay dolls to traditional masks—all with artistic, vibrant features— contemplating our age-old Bangali history, it would not be a Bangali New Year without these works of art.