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22 February, 2020 10:19:37 AM
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New dimensions in Ekushey observance

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
New dimensions in Ekushey observance

The remembrance of Language Movement martyrs cast a spell of gloom mingled with nostalgia in and around the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital yesterday.

But the observance of Amar Ekushey also adds a sense of pride to the young generation, turning the Language Martyrs’ Day into an event of festivity.

People paid their respects to the martyrs by wearing black badges. Evergreen songs glorifying the historic events that led to the nation's independence floated in the air, but the festive mood among the people could not be missed.

Donning new clothes, mostly white and black, with a letter of the Bengali alphabet imprinted on them and wearing a ribbon with the name and flag of Bangladesh, people from all walks of life visited the Central Shaheed Minar yesterday.

Nashihat Chowdhury was wearing a black and white saree. She said she bought it on February 20 from a boutique to wear it on Mother Language Day.

“In our busy city life, a holiday comes as a respite. And a day like February 21 is a festive day for us to celebrate the sacrifice of the brave martyrs who established the rightful place of our mother language,” she added.

Sixty-eight years have gone by since the martyrs laid down their lives to protect their mother language. The city skyline has changed a lot. But this very day of February and this very Shaheed Minar has seen the same scene and received the homage of millions, only with an added pinch of festive mood along with grief and respect.

While bare-footed people were placing wreaths and garlands in front of the Shaheed Minar, those in the crowd were having their own little stories of remembrance. Mir Murtuza Karim,

a bank employee residing in Dhanmondi, said: “My father was a professor of Dhaka University (DU). We used to live in the DU quarters opposite the Shaeed Minar. For the last 30 years, I haven’t missed a single occasion to pay tribute to the language martyrs,” he said.

Karim also said they usually placed flowers late at night. “For years, I have seen all the arrangements—the security set-up, decoration, cleaning of the premises, writing of poetry, and painting of pictures on our colony walls facing the Shaeed Minar. Observing International Mother Language Day has become a part of the Bengali way of life. Over time, this day has drawn more and more crowd and assumed a look of festivity,” he added.

Hundreds of vendors around the national monument indeed gave the Shaheed Minar the look of a fair. People were seen buying food, paper flags, caps, plastic toys, trinkets, and many other things.

Arif Asgar, a teacher of mathematics at a private university, was found buying plastic toys in front of Kazi Mukarrom Hossain Bhaban opposite the Shaheed Minar. “February 21 always makes me a bit nostalgic. Plastic toy vendors transport me back to my childhood days when I used to come here with my father. He always bought me these toys. Coming here on this day has become something which I cherish and will continue to do so for a long time,” he said.

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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