I had a sweetly amusing experience recently while listening to an FM radio station on my way back home. A caller, probably a boy in his late teenage, was narrating how excitedly he was awaiting the coming of 14 April, i.e. the Pahela Baishakh. The reason was, this would be the first ever Pahela Baishakh celebration in Bangladesh as he had been born and brought up in a foreign land. I was touched by the passionate fervour of his voice that was more like the ecstatic impatience of a lover waiting for his beloved. Stuck in the who-knows-when-it-ends traffic jam at Bijoy Sarani, I continued with my thoughts on this issue. This boy definitely had heard about Pahela Baishakh from his parents, even might have read news and seen pictures on the web, and had nourished a kind of overwhelming sensitivity deep inside his heart to observe this day in his motherland. He probably has made several online friends through Facebook or so who may have added further momentum to his spirit by sending him photographs and information on this occasion. And now that he is in Bangladesh, he is desperate to fulfill his long-nurtured curiosity and dream. Here is where I started to feel good. This boy, despite his grooming in an alien society, eventually didn't shake off the culture he inherited in his blood. He feels proud to embrace his belongingness to the Bangali culture, and thereby activate his “I”-ness within. His presence in the coming daylong program would at least help him discover the answer to this quintessential query: Who am I? Today's Pahela Baishakh and youngsters
One of my intimate associates and a prolific sociologist Dr. Buddha Dev Biswas said, 'To put it simple, Pahela Baishakh, along with its entire festivity, has rejuvenated itself as the one and only secular identity of our nationhood. It has become the de facto icon of our emotion-clad nationality which has so far prohibited major socio-political evils. Pahela Baishakh is a manifestation of what we want to be in...
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