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Bangla New Year Celebration in Brussels: Foreign friends immersed into Bengali culture 

With spontaneous participation from international friends and members of the Bangladesh community in Belgium, the Bangladesh Embassy in Brussels celebrated “Pohela Baishakh-1431” and Eid reunion yesterday at the serene lawns of Bangladesh House in Brussels.

The highlight of the event was a dazzling performance by an eminent dance artist from Bangladesh, Ms. Tamanna Rahman. She enthralled the guests with dances to boishakhi, folk and patriotic songs from Bangladesh. Through her dances, foreign friends witnessed the story of how Bengalees bid farewell to the old year and welcomed the new, the triumph of good over evil. She presented the philosophies of mystic poets such as Lalon, Hason Raja and Baul musician Shah Abdul Karim and how they influenced rural life in Bangladesh. Bangabandhu’s leadership in Bangladesh’s independence struggle and in the country’s development was beautifully highlighted through dance and music.

In his speech, Bangladesh Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and Head of Mission to the EU, Mahbub Hassan Saleh said that Pohela Boishakh is the biggest secular national festival enjoyed unanimously by all Bengalis, irrespective of class, gender, age, and religion. Wishing everyone a Happy Bangla New Year, he highlighted the spirit of freedom and secularism which is at the heart of Pohela Boishakh celebrations and what the Bengalis fought for in the Liberation War of 1971 led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He echoed the words of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that religion is for individuals, and festivals are for all – a spirit which proudly pervades celebrations in Bangladesh.


Music and dance were also presented by the youth and children from the Bangladesh community and by the Embassy family. Young Belgian music composer, Thomas Arnett, captivated the audience by playing a number of Bengali songs on the traditional flute from Bangladesh.

Even though the Babgla New Year falls in April, the Embassy arranged a later celebration due to Ramadan taking place in April. This enabled the guests to jointly enjoy the Boishakhi celebrations as well as Eid reunion.

The programme of the day began with the traditional Mongol Shobhajatra (New Year Peace Rally) in which both foreign dignitaries and members of the Bangladesh community took part with enthusiasm, dressed in colourful attire.

On the occasion, the grounds were decorated with traditional posters, boishakh motifs, balloons, festoons, and other boishakh paraphernalia to showcase Bengali culture and create the ambience of heralding Noboborsho. Almost 400 guests including Ambassadors and diplomats from different missions, dignitaries from the host country and EU institutions, friends from think tanks, the business community, international media, the Bangladesh community, and other guests attended the programme. 

A wide range of traditional Bengali food and snacks including pithas were served during the event. Neither pouring rain nor gusty winds could dampen the enthusiasm of the guests from enjoying the programme with festivity and fervour. Living up to the spirit of Boishakh, the event rejuvenated all with the light of new hope and bright days ahead.


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