To celebrate Bangla New Year more than 700 people gathered at the Bangladesh House in the Netherlands today. Apart from large number of expatriate Bangladesh community, Deputy Mayor of the Hague Mr. Rabin Baldewsing, Foreign Ministry officials, Ambassadors of India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Yemen, Afghanistan, Mexico and South Africa, local media, leaders and members of Netherlands Awami-League were present in the celebration. The day long programme began with the traditional Mangal Shovajatra (New Year Peace Rally). This year the theme of the shovajatra was ‘Culture for Humanity’, both expatriate Bangladesh community and foreign dignitaries participated in the rally with joy and festivity. NRBs from the Netherlands and other parts of Europe joined the celebration.
‘Bangladesh House’- the residence of Bangladesh Ambassador was beautifully decorated with traditional motifs, alpona, balloons, festoons, posters, flowers to showcase the Bengali culture. Bangladesh origin adults and children were adorned in colourful traditional outfits to invigorate the Boishakhi flavour.
In his speech, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of Bangladesh in The Netherlands highlighted that celebration of Bangla New Year is no more limited in the boundary of Bangladesh, this universal celebration reveals the enrich cultural heritage of Bangladesh. This secular festival rejuvenates us with the light of new hope. He urged expatriate Bangladesh community to act as a networker. NRBs were requested to represent cultural heritage of Bangladesh in their destination country and disseminate knowledge and experience gathered in the Netherlands for the development of our beloved motherland. Ambassador urged all to contribute towards realising the dream and aspiration of Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman while sharing of Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC status to a middle income country. Later, Ambassadors and foreign dignitaries were invited on the stage to address the audience saying ‘Shuvo Noboborsho’ in Bangla and in their own language.
Mr. Siddiqur Rahman, President of BGMEA, who was present as a special guest, urged NRBs to help sustaining the momentum of development journey in the country.
In his speech H.E. Mr. Rabin Baldewsingh, Deputy Mayor of The Hague congratulated all Bangalee on the occasion of New Year and appreciated Embassy of Bangladesh for different initiatives to promote culture and tradition of Bangladesh. He also mentioned that today’s large presence resembles the solidarity of Bangalee.
He appreciated the secular display of Bangladeshi culture in the Netherlands and termed Embassy of Bangladesh as a model Embassy in The Hague.
Cultural performances of local Bangali artists were intrinsic part of the celebration. Bangladesh origin children and adult performers presented spell bound cultural performances. ‘Trimatrik’ a musical band of NRBs fascinated the audience with their presentation of Bangla song. In the afternoon, a team of guest artists led by renowned singers Ms. Haimanti and Mr. Sandipan enthralled the Bangladesh House. Their magical performance engaged the audience in long lasting rhythm of popular Bangla songs.
Besides enjoying cultural performances and traditional food, few enthusiastic NRBs gave stalls where ladies and children got mehedi and face paint and traditional snacks and drinks were served. In Lunch, Embassy served traditional boishakhi food for all guests. Sweets of different kinds, cakes, pithas etc. were also served to the guests.
Overall, both foreign guests and NRBs expressed their happiness and satisfaction and enjoyed a day full of dance music and food.