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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 130 | August 2 , 2009|


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Bishaud Bangla:
A hangout joint for the young in Chittagong

Tabassum Mokhduma

WHILE entering the place, the very first thing that is bound to grab anyone's attention is its distinctive interior. The vibrantly coloured entrance depicts that this is the place close to our rich, diverse culture which describes the tales of our roots. It is about Bishaud Bangla, an organisation that is working to uphold and nurture Bangladeshi culture.

These days when urban streets are booming with places that offer the younger generation ample opportunity to have the taste of western culture, it's rather a difficult to find a place where one can actually have the chance to know about their own culture. As a result, the present generation knows more about Beyonce Knowles or Justin Timberlake than they know about the lyricist who wrote Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano. Keeping this mind, Bishaud Bangla is working to establish an awareness campaign through which people will value our culture.

With the aim of upholding the spirit of our culture especially among the youths, Bishaud Bangla started its journey on September 2005 with the slogan, Banglar Shobtuku Niye. Located in Mehedibag area in Chittagong, this organisation has established itself as one of the devoted ambassador in nurturing Bengali culture in Chittagong as well as in the whole Bangladesh and around the world.

It is a place which includes almost each and everything that represents Bengali culture and its heritage. Starting from Bengali books, songs,movies, journals, arts, clothes, handicrafts made of eco-friendly reusable stuffs and other trash items, potteries, organic foods, homemade pithas (traditional cakes), one can find oneself lost in the never ending little world that Bishaud Bangla created to espouse our culture.

The best thing about Bishaud Bangla is one can find the genuine products which directly comes from the place where it was originated. One can find famous Sheetal Pati from Sylhet, Kantha stiched clothes from Jessore, terracotta showpieces from Dhaka and Kushtia, Rajshahi's famous Kheer Kodom all at the same place. This unique idea made this place standout from other places.

Besides this, it regularly publishes a monthly newspaper titled “Mashik Bishaud Shongbad” which they term as “Bishaud Banglar Ghoroa Kagoj” (Bishaud Bangla's in-house newspaper). On every Thursday evening, it organises literary events to celebrate Bengali culture and heritage that includes special discussions on the life history of eminent personalities, writers, poets and organises various programmes like mime shows, musical soirees etc. Moreover, a special discussion is organised to discuss different write-ups and publications of different writers.

This is certainly not the end of Bishaud Bangla's versatile initiatives. Every Friday it holds art classes and on Saturday it hosts special classes to develop the communication skills of the children from 5 to 15 years of age as well as teaching them standard pronunciations of Bangla words. They also conduct special Bangla learning sessions for foreigners that is conducted by the Director himself.

Though Bishaud Bangla mainly works on Bangladeshi culture, it does not want to limit itself within the boundary of Bangladesh. It promotes both in Bangladesh and West Bengal.

Bishaud Bangla also has different types of membership packages for different people. Members are entitled to have some special facilities like borrowing books, journals, CDs of songs, music and films, buying Bishaud Bangla publications etc. at lower rates. But the good thing is, a large number of its members are students. When students are more prone towards getting acquainted to western culture, love to follow Bollywood fashions, it is indeed a great achievement for Bishaud Bangla that it became successful in sowing the seeds of Bengali culture and appreciation for other cultures in the heart of the students.

According to Alam Khorshed, founder of Bishaud Bangla, it was our very own cultural heritage which inspired him to establish Bishaud Bangla.

Bangladeshi culture has a lot to offer. And Bishaud Bangla's initiative is all about describing our lives, introducing our roots to the younger generation of our country and upholding our culture.

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