Thursday, April 10, 2008

A tour of Bengali Culture

We live at the Bangladesh Institute for Peace Support Operations or BIPSOT, located North of Dhaka in the jungles of Ranjnapur about an hour and a half drive (and a lot of prayer Inshallah) North of the capitol. It is warm still at a minute past midnight. Several of the senior officers got to go to the Army Division Command site downtown last night. It was for a cultural event that was nice, elegantly done and paqcked with officers from about 18 countries.

The meal was incredible and the style informal. After dinner we were treated to a variety of shows from the recitation of a component of the "Bidrohi Poem" or the poem of rebellion written by the national poet of Bangladesh Kazi Nazrul Islam. The central them of the poem is generally to uproot oppression from across the globe in order to ensure that human rights prevail. It was read alternaively in Bengali and English. he was accompanied by a dancer that embodied the spirit of the Rebel, striking out against the forces of oppression.

This was followed by an amazing song of Lalon. Lalon Shah was a mystic that embodied the yearning for a sensitive and modest life of dedication and truth. The singer Pagla Bablu and a female companion with a type of small cymbals gave an intoxicating singing of what is called a lalon song, after the mystic

It was an amazing exposure to the remarkably tolerant and diverse culture of this ancient land and relatively new country.

I am so honored to be here and to see such a new aspect of the world.

-out here


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