Shajeda Haque :: One of the traditional festivals of Bangladesh is the Classic Festival of Old Dhaka. Although the origin of the festival is Dhaka, it has now spread all over the country. Like every year, this time the people of Dhaka and all over the country have celebrated this festival in isolation. The scope of the event was small due to the global outbreak of corona.
The ‘Shakrain ’ festival has been celebrated this year in compliance with the health rules. But despite the Corona epidemic, officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) and their Asian partner, Seftynet, have observed how people are celebrating at such a traditional festival.
In the beginning, they partially supported this traditional kite festival. Colonel Dr. Syed Hassan Abdullah (Retd.), Country Director of SafetyNet in Bangladesh, said they took part in the event as a way to promote the safe celebration of the “new normal life” during the ongoing epidemic.
Seftinet has been helping Asian countries gain more skills in their public health and pathology. Although they have a long history of working in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and India, their work in Bangladesh is just beginning. SafetyNet is working primarily on documenting how Bangladesh has overcome the epidemic, how public health systems and experts have played a role in disease management, so that Bangladesh can learn from the past in future epidemics.
Seftynet has undertaken long-term projects to build the capacity of health manpower of 12 city corporations of the country and to create pathologists or disease detectives in public health. Seftynet is committed to playing an effective and positive role in the health system of Bangladesh. The whole of Bangladesh seemed to be a piece of the roof around the ‘Shakrain ’ festival. The colorful kite flying in the sky to the beat of the native drums and the spinning of that kite, the blowing of lanterns and the arrangement of fireworks are like a formal festival. The main attraction of the festival was the colorful costumes and excitement of everyone around the festival.
Bengalis mainly celebrate Poush Sankranti as a kite festival. The Sanskrit word ‘Sankranti‘ later took the form ‘Saccharin’. At the juncture of Poushand Magh months, the people of Dhaka celebrate this festival. However, in old Dhaka, PoushSankranti or Sakhrain has taken the form of a public Dhaka festival.
Nowadays, besides flying kites all day long, the sky of the city on the banks of the Buriganga is filled with colorful fireworks and colorful lanterns in the evening. ‘Saccharin’ is a popular and important festival of Bangladeshi culture. It is seen as a symbol of unity and friendship. The festival was organized at the house of Nurjahan Begum, the first female journalist of Bangladesh known as Nasiruddin Smriti Bhavan to make that unity and friendship known to the world.
Earl Robert Miller, the US ambassador, expressed his excitement at being able to take part in the festival for the first time. He joined the festival with his children. He was amazed to see with his own eyes how colorful the people of Bangladesh are even in small events. Not only the US Ambassador, but also The Flag Girl, Priota Iftekharwas joined by the Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo, Gunnar Urea, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Swiss Embassy, Mrs. Karin HenchozPiganani, the Deputy Chief of the Afghan Embassy, Mr. Phibab, About 30 guests, including Christian Hope V Reyes, third secretary and vice consul at the embassy, and Alexander Husler, general manager of Radisson Blu Dhaka, attended.
The main purpose of this event is to introduce the features and types of this traditional festival of Bangladesh to the various embassies located in Bangladesh. Priota Iftekhar, who won the title of ‘Miss Culture Worldwide 2018’, thinks that the history and heritage of Bangladesh will spread globally through this. Priota Iftekhar is known in the country and abroad as ‘The Flag Girl’ of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Tourism Corporation has recently officially appointed him as a brand ambassador.