Cultural Affairs ministry to celebrate UNESCO recognition for Mangal Shobhajatra

19 Jan 2017, 19:44

NTV Online

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs will organise a day-long programme on January 21 to celebrate the inclusion of the Mangal Shobhajatra - the procession on the first morning of the Bengali New Year, on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The ministry will bring out a rally stretching from the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and ending at the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University after parading several streets of the city, reports UNB.

Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor will lead the rally, scheduled to start at 3:00pm on Saturday.

Besides, a discussion programme will also be held at the Bakultola of the Fine Arts Faculty, where Noor will be present as the chief guest.

Mangal Shobhajatra — the procession of good tidings - was enlisted by UNESCO on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on November 30.

The decision was taken at the 11th session of the intergovernmental committee on intangible cultural heritage, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Committee in its decision noted that Mangal Shobhajatra, organised by teachers and students of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Arts to celebrate the Bengali New Year, symbolises the pride of the people of Bangladesh in their living heritage as well as their strength and courage to fight sinister forces, and their vindication of truth and justice.

The Committee also recognised that the Pahela Boisakh or Bengali New Year festival that the Mangal Shobhajatra heralds represents the solidarity of Bangladeshis, and their shared value of democracy, uniting people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender or age.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UNESCO Shahidul Islam led a four-member delegation to the Committee’s meeting at Addis Ababa.

The other members were Bangladesh Ambassador to Ethiopia and African Union Md Monirul Islam, and Dean of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Arts Prof Nisar Hossain and First Secretary of Bangladesh Embassy in Paris Farhana Ahmed Chowdhury.

The enhanced visibility of Mangal Shobhajatra festival will help reinforce Bangladesh’s image as a secular and inclusive society.

The initiative to include Mangal Shovajatra on UNESCO’s list began two years ago when a nomination file on the festival prepared by Bangla Academy and approved by Ministry of Cultural Affairs was submitted to UNESCO.

Since then, the nomination file underwent a number of amendments and was finally adopted by the relevant UNESCO committee.