To send the Dhaka audience on a soul-searching journey, the 2nd International Sufi Festival is to begin at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the capital on Friday.
Organized by Allama Rumi Society of Bangladesh and Hatkhola Foundation with the support of Cultural Affairs Ministry and under the patronage of the Shilpakala Academy, the theme of this year's festival is ‘Music for Unity.’
The festival will run for three days until February 25 at the academy's Nandan Mancha.
The inauguration ceremony will be held at 3:30 pm while a seminar on Sufi festival music will be arranged on the second day (February 24).
Four countries -- India, Iran, Turkey and Bangladesh -- will participate in this year's festival with their own traditional Sufi offerings.
A total of 119 (70 from Bangladesh and 49 from the other participating countries) Sufis and folklore singers will perform during the festival.
On the other hand, 15 troupes from home and four from abroad are on the performance list while Iranian Jairob, a Turkish team and two Indian teams including Ruhani Sisters, will also perform.
The music festival will begin with the performance of traditional dance while popular Bangladeshi band ‘Joler Gaan’ will appear as the last performer.
Sufi Festival will remain open from 3 pm to 10 pm every day. The entry is free for all.
Sufi Festival, the first edition of which was held in Chittagong, has taken the genre and indeed lifestyle of Sufism from its traditional association with mazars and faqirs, and repackaged it for the well-heeled and trendy.
Derived from the Arabic word, “safa” which means “purity,” Sufism is the path for the purification of the “nafs,” or human soul, by cleansing the “qalb,” or the spiritual heart, for the reflection of the Almighty’s love – “Ishq.”