Category Archives: Seasons

Pohela Boishakh- Bangla New Year

Ramna Park, Dhaka

Last week Bangladesh celebrated their New Year. The historical importance of Pohela Boishakh in the Bangladeshi context began in 1965. In an attempt to suppress Bengali culture, the Pakistani Government had banned poems written by Rabindranath Tagore, the most famous poet and writer in Bengali literature. Protesting this move, Chhayanat opened their Pohela Boishakh celebrations at Ramna Park with Tagore’s song welcoming the month. The day continued to be celebrated in East Pakistan as a symbol of Bengali culture. After 1972 it became a national festival, a symbol of the Bangladesh nationalist movement.

Shooting Pohela Boishakh

Sometimes it’s an advantage to be a foreigner. I had left my press pass at home but the SWAT team like special forces assigned to the event (center) let me use the platform to video tape from. A few years back there was a bomb blast in Ramna Park during Pohela Boishakh so security was heightened.

Winter into Spring

Painted trucks, Comilla

During the past few months the mornings have been chilly- especially for the rickshaw drivers who only wear thin shirts, loungyi’s (sarongs) and flip-flops. Street vendors have been selling  the specialty of the season called Bhapa Pitha. It’s a steam-baked  cake filled with coconut and molasses shaped in a small cup and placed on a steamer pot.

Bangladesh has six seasons and this February 13th marks Falgun, the coming of spring. Woman in Dhaka wear yellow saris to celebrate this day. I’ll be missing it since I fly back home to the states this Wednesday for a two week vacation returning to classes on March second.

Note to my students: don’t forget that I’ll be that I’ll be checking email and watching the progress of your blogs. Keep posting at least twice a week (or more if you like).