• Saturday, May 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:54 am

Lokayan Life Diversity Museum: An archive of lost knowledge on river culture

  • Published at 07:52 pm April 20th, 2021
Nodi gallery Thakurgaon
In addition to displaying the water in bottles, the gallery also features photos, documentaries, poetry and literary works about rivers in order to raise public awareness about river conservation Dhaka Tribune

‘When we learn about our rivers, we learn about our country and in turn its people’

Bangladesh, situated on the world's largest delta, was once home to over a thousand rivers. But due to years of neglect, pollution and encroachment caused by various anthropogenic activities, the majority of these rivers have now vanished.

As a consequence, the riverine region's ecological equilibrium has shifted dramatically, as observed by the recurrence of natural disasters brought about by climate change.

It is now more important than ever to raise awareness about the importance of preserving rivers in Bangladesh in order to maintain a stable ecological equilibrium.

To this end, the Lokayan Life Diversity Museum in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila has been playing its part since the inauguration of its "Nadi Gallery" (river gallery) in 2016.

The museum, established in 2006 by the Eco-Social Development Organisation (Esdo), preserves water from most of the country's rivers at this gallery to educate its visitors.

In addition to displaying the water in bottles, the gallery also features photos, documentaries, poetry and literary works about rivers in order to raise public awareness about river conservation.

It has had a healthy response from people across the country. The museum hosts about 100-150 visitors every day, with the number increasing during holidays and vacations, according to museum officials.

On a visit to the gallery, a third-year student of Dhaka University’s music department said that Bengali culture, including its music, dance, literature and films, was deeply connected to its rivers

Shahina Sultana, from Panchagarh, said: “We grew up with free-flowing rivers and learned to swim in them. But, now that the rivers have dried up and ponds have been contaminated with chemicals for fish farming, I cannot teach my children to swim.”

Shahina expressed her frustration about how out of touch the new generation was with nature.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed to see waters from the Bangali River, Abdul Hannan, a government official from Nilphamari, said it was on the bank of this very river where he had spent most of his childhood growing up in Bogra’s Sariakandi.

Even though he now lived far away from his childhood home, his most cherished memories were still intertwined with this precious river, he added.

Speaking about the purpose of creating the river gallery, Esdo Founder and Executive Director Shahid Uz Zaman, said: “This gallery, containing the names and descriptions of 176 rivers, can educate the young on the importance of rivers in a country like Bangladesh.”

“Once believed to be home to around 1,300 rivers, the riverine state now only has 230 rivers, many of which are on the verge of disappearing due to climate change and geopolitical factors.”

“Our history, art, culture, lifestyle—everything is deeply connected with our rivers. When we learn about our rivers, we learn about our country and in turn its people. So the main purpose of creating the river gallery is to restore and preserve lost knowledge on river culture.”

Moreover, the museum informs visitors of stories about the lifestyles and livelihoods of people of all strata living for hundreds of years in the northern part of the country, which has a huge wealth of folk traditions.

It houses a variety of traditional tools and materials used by rural people, such as farmers’ hats, fishing and hunting equipment, ploughs, rural attire, palanquins and so on.

Besides, because ethnic minorities are losing their heritage as they come into contact with modern lifestyles, the authorities have created another gallery that focuses on the lives and cultures of ethnic communities.

57
Facebook 52
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail