People from all strata of the society were seen thronging the Dhaka Lit Fest at Bangla Academy to enjoy sessions on Bangali culture and heritage on Friday, the second day of the three-day festival.
A troupe from Rayer Bazar Temple enthralled the audience with Kirtan songs, devotional music dedicated to Lord Krishna, while members of the Mohaprobhu Shongho performed songs with traditional musical instruments, such as flutes and tabla.
A series of sessions were also held on Bangali history and culture.
Sadhona, a sub-continental cultural training organisation, organised Lathikhela, a traditional martial art involving sticks, mesmerising the audience with beats of drums and cymbals. Also, a 25-member team of boys and girls from Narail’s Karail danced to the rhythm of local drums.
A session on children “Akkhor O Anko (Zero),” by Mousumi Banerjee and Garga Chatterjee, discussed the relationship between poetry and mathematics. Speakers at the session also explained how mathematics is related to poetry.
Another event “Toton Mamar Magic Jhola” featured a story telling session for children under the age of 12.
Eminent actor and rights activists Nandana Sen recited poem from her mother’s poetry collections at a session styled “Mothers and Daughters.” Nandana also shared her upcoming book with the audience, which she wants to name “Mother Tongue.”
In the “Cholochitrakar Humayun Ahmed” session, speakers discussed the unrivaled skills and contributions of legendary author and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed.
Addressing the session, Humayun’s wife Meher Afroz Shaon, who is also an actor and film director, urged filmmakers and producers to adopt his novels into films.
Two other sessions – Prokashona: Ekal Sekal, and Shomporker Epar Opar – were held in the Bhaskar Novera exhibition hall at 12:30pm and 2pm respectively. Speakers from diverse backgrounds discussed the importance of history and culture during the sessions.
Speaking at the Shomporker Epar Opar session, Bangla Academy Chairman Shamsuzzaman Khan said: “We are grateful to the people living in West Bengal as they helped us during our Liberation War in 1971. Bangladeshi poets have an in-depth understanding of culture and people of West Bengal. But, it is a matter of regret that our poets are not much known to them.”
Calling the partition of Bengal an old sin, Prof Dr Tapodhir Bhattacharjee of Assam University highlighted the need for getting rid of the sin by developing relations between people of both sides.
In the afternoon, people of all ages enjoyed a puppet show by veteran puppeteer Mustafa Monwar, and in the evening, poets Jahidul Haque and Muhhammed Sadique recited Bangla poems during a session titled “Kobita Banglar Mukh 2.”
At one of the last two sessions of the second day, “Rupkotha: Purono Kotha Jokhon Notun Kore Ashe,” litterateurs Vaskar Hossain, Bibhas Roy Chowdhury and Moinul Ahsan shed light on how fairy tales added a new dimension to modern fiction.
The second day of the festival ended with a fascinating battle of verse, with poets singing and performing together during the “Kobigaan” session on the Nazrul stage on the Bangla Academy premises.
What’s on Today’s list
A session of spiritual Marfoti songs by Ujan Bhati Shilpi Goshthi will be held at 9am today, the third and final day of the festival.
Also, there are a number of sessions for children, such as “Magic of Maths,” “Bonku the Super Dog” and “Boner Golpo.”
A session titled “Dhaka University: Looking Back” will be held in the Poet Shamsur Rahman seminar room at 11:15am, followed by another session “Bhashay Rajniti, Bhashay Orthoniti” where speakers will discuss different aspects of language and politics.
At 12:30pm, Lovely Bashar, Ballari Sen, Ahmad Mustafa Kamal and Mahbub Aziz and Tanim Ahmed will grace a session on “Kolomke Keno Eto Bhoy” in the Bhaskar Novera exhibition hall.
Two sessions – Dhorshon: Pourosher Khomota, and Sorochito Kobita O Bangabandhuke Nibedito Kobita Abritti – will be held at 2:30pm.
The final Bangla session “Michhiler Dinguli: Muktijuddher Purbapor Kobita” will feature a recitation of poems.