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    Volume3Issue 01| January 09, 2011 |


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Striking A Chord


Around the World and Back

Elita Karim

Barely a week has gone by since the New Year's Eve celebrations and many are still trying to recover from the hangover. Like every year, security was beefed up all over Dhaka city and vehicles were stopped and scanned vigorously at check points. People still talk about the lines and rows of cars that had blocked the Airport Road for hours that night, eventually forcing the authorities to open a separate lane for cars going to the main city from Uttara on the other side. Nevertheless, there were parties and flashy moments in hotels, lounges and not to mention, private parties held inside several homes. The one in Chittagong Club was also grand in nature and involved a lot of music, dancing and, much to everyone's delight, fireworks, which was the highlight of the night.

All over the world, New Year's Eve celebrations turn out to be grander every year, involving fire works, music, dances, visualisations and a lot more. For instance, many Bangladeshis living in Australia had a blast this year celebrating the coming of the New Year. Mahbubul Alam Rony works in a software company in Perth, Australia. As a university student in Melbourne, Rony used to make sure that he and his friends had the time of their lives when it came to celebrating New Year's Eve. However, after finishing with university and taking up a job in Perth, things changed. “Perth is very isolated as compared to the other cities in Australia,” says Rony. “For the last couple of years, I would either be working or getting together with a few acquaintances here to celebrate the New Year. Though celebrations take place in a grand way near where I live, it is still not like how it used to be with my friends back in Melbourne.” This year, however, Rony and his friends visited the Sydney Harbour. “I think I got one of the biggest shows ever at the Harbour!” exclaims Rony. “The fireworks were spectacular. We could not watch them directly from the boar since we had not bought tickets in advance, but the whole experience has been extremely memorable.”

There are many who had the opportunity to spend New Year's Eve in New York City this year, despite the massive snowfall that kept most people indoors. “My mother had gone to visit family members in New Jersey a few months ago,” says Niaz Pir, who works for a multinational company in Chittagong. “She stayed back to catch the New Year's Eve celebrations there and also expressed interest to experience the snow along with the celebrations. In the last few months, it snowed everywhere but in New Jersey. Finally, by the end of December 2010, it snowed so much in New Jersey that my mother and other family members could not even step outside their home!” One of the most famous points in the world for celebrating New Year's Eve is probably Times Square, in New York City. For more than a century, the Times Square has been the centre of worldwide attention on New Year's Eve. As the story goes, in 1904, the owners of One Times Square started holding rooftop celebrations to greet the New Year. The first Ball Lowering celebration took place in 1907, and this tradition is now a universal symbol of welcoming the New Year.

Celebrations are still taking place as the New Year is being welcomed by all and efforts being made to stick to keeping resolutions by all. With fresh ideas generating everywhere in Bangladesh and new companies taking over the market and flashing bright colours like red, orange and blue, it won't be long till every day will be a celebration for one reason or another.

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