Dhaka, Bangladesh
Pahela Boishakh

Editorial

Pahela Boishakh

Another year has slipped into eternity and today we celebrate the first day of the first month of the Bengali New Year. With the arrival of Paheha Boishakh the air seems to be saturated with such an inexplicable aura of glee that everyone is in a happy frame of mind. The day is a most welcome break in the drab routine of our daily life. On the occasion of the Pahela Boishakh, the whole country seems to spring to life, because it holds out new hopes for the new year. Pahela Boishakh, a centuries-old tradition, is as much a part of our cultural identity as well as our national celebration. It is a celebration of colours, folk art, local cuisine and the common heritage of a nation that has survived and thrived on its multiplicity of communities. It unites us beyond our beliefs. Pahela Boishakh is an example of how a nation can unite beyond their personal identities. Pahela Boishakh is undeniably an integral part of our culture. The day is celebrated by one and all as people from all strata of society come together on the joyous occasion of the Bengali New Year. Pahela Boishakh bears a testimony to Bangladesh’s history of diversity and inclusiveness and makes it a celebration that truly brings together the people in unity and harmony. Despite a strong campaign against Hilsa and soaked rice on Pahela Boishakh’s morning menu as a concocted culture, the demand for the delectable Hilsa dish absolutely agreeable to the palate has been growing constantly. As a result, Hilsa prices go up disproportionately ahead of Bengali New Year. Fish traders in market charge and gouge abnormally exorbitant prices as there was a huge rush of Hilsa buyers before Pahela Boishakh. Noted scholars and distinguished cultural personalities opine that the cocktail of Hilsa and soaked rice on Pahela Boishakh morning is a culture devised by some urban people which has no relation with nation’s tradition and heritage. On the contrary, it is a whimsical trend that goes against the original culture of the Bangalees. Having ‘Panta-Ilish’ on Pahela Boishakh is nothing but a luxury of the rich and upper middle class people, though it has no root in the old tradition of celebrating the Bengali New Year. The noted cultural personalities think that those who take ‘Panta-Ilish’ in a festive mood on Pahela Boishakh are just making a mockery of our original culture. It has become a fad with a section of people who try to become Bangalees for a day Pahela Boishakh. However, Bengali New Year should be celebrated by all in remembrance of our roots. This is an opportunity for us to show that we are united by one shared history, one shared belief of hope, love and peace. Shubho Nababarsha

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