Ten Elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Bangladesh
is a coffee-table book published by Bangla Academy. As the self-explanatory title suggests, it features some of our most popular festivities and art practices. Deftly aided by top-notch photographs, the book presents us with a vivid description of the arts and festivities of Bangladesh, rich with historical information and analyses.
The Academy has brought out this book as part of a project to explore and study Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH in Bangladesh). The concept of ICH emerged in the 1990s as a counterpart to the World Cultural Heritage that focuses on monuments, groups of buildings and sites which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art and science. The academy’s project aims especially at preserving a host of new elements that have become significant in practicing a certain art or festivity.
Authored by Shamsuzzaman Khan, Firoz Mahmud and Shahida Khatun, the book explores ten new elements of the intangible culture in Bangladesh: Eid-ul-Fitr, Rickshaw painting, lost-wax casting in imagery, Mangal Sobhajatra, Bakarkhani, 7-March historic address of Bangabandhu, Victory Day, art painting of Sakher Hadi
, Ekushey at Shaheed Minar and Amar Ekushey Granthamela.
Ten Elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Bangladesh takes readers to a rich journey that shows the diversity and plurality of Bangladeshi culture.
Bringing out various regional and cultural aspects of Eid-ul-Fitr, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims all over the world, the book discusses the historical aspects of Eid in Bangladesh. The distinct ways of celebrating this joyous occasion in the country – from buying new clothes to sighting the curvaceous moon, coloring hands with henna going for Eid prayers, embracing each other and distributing Eidi or salami – are broadly discussed and explained with photographs.
With illustration, picture and explanatory text, each of the ten chapters introduces us to different aspects of an intangible culture. The chapter, “The lost-wax casting in imagery at Dhamrai in Dhaka,” covers an interesting history of Musharraf Husain and Svaksmi Gopal Banik, who worked on a joint venture and turned Dhamrai into a prolific centee of metal sculpture by producing Hindu, Buddhist and Jain images based on mythological traditions. “Bakarkhani: Traditional bread in Old Dhaka” delves into the history of one Mirza Agha Bakar Khan and his beloved Khani Begum, who are believed to be the maker of this bread. Likewise, “Ekushey at Shaheed Minar in Dhaka City,” “Victory Day in Dhaka,” “Traditional Art of Painting the Sakher Hadi” and “7-March historic address of Bangabandhu” come with many new nuggets of information and a deep understanding of our culture.
Preserving distinct cultural practices of Bangladesh, the book helps the present and future generations understand what defines culture and nationality of a country. Blending heritage and creativity, the diverse manifestations of intangible cultural heritage – from traditional practices to art forms – enrich our lives in countless ways. Ten Elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Bangladesh
takes readers to a rich journey that shows the diversity and plurality of Bangladeshi culture.