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"Pahela Baishakh"
1st Day Bengali Month Celebrated
By Ataur Rahman
Bangladesh Correspondent
Dhaka , Bangladesh (By Ataur Rahman) The nation of Bangladesh has celebrated Pahela Baishakh on April 14, 2010 (first day of the Bengali month Baishakh), the first day of the 'Nababarsha' with new hopes, aspirations and joy. People from all corners around the country celebrated the day.

There were colorful processions, fairs and cultural programmes in cities and towns over the Country . The central attraction of Pahela Baishakh on Wednesday was the cultural programme of Chhayanaut at Ramna Batamul that started at the crack of dawn as it has for 40 years now. Like every year, the musical programme included devotional and patriotic songs.

The Fine Art Institute of Dhaka University brought out a colorful procession with floats designed after birds and animals. The day was celebrated amid tight security following the 2001 bomb attack at the Chhayanaut programme.

Around 8,000 law enforcers including the RAB, SWAT, police and intelligence officers were equipped with dog squads, CCTV cameras and, for the first time, infra-red cameras to ensure maximum security.

According to the government calendar, Pahela Baishakh falls on Apr 14, but according to the traditional calendar (panjika) it should fall on Apr 15.
President Zillur Rahman hosted a reception for those awarded the Swadhinata and Ekushey Padak awards, along with notable writers, poets and other dignitaries. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and cabinet members also attended.

Hasina also greeted people from different corners of the country at her residence in the morning, while she met ministers, parliament members, party leaders and supporters.

Leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia, however, celebrated the Bengali New Year on Tuesday night. It was for the first time that the BNP celebrated the advent of the Bengali new year at the stroke of midnight although the traditional practice is to begin the celebrations at the crack of dawn.

The programme, attended by the BNP leaders and supporters, included a cultural show and traditional food. The mass media has been airing special programmes marking the day.

Upazila, district and divisional administrations also organised colourful cultural shows, discussions and village fairs. All prisons, hospitals and orphanages provided their inmates with improved diet.

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Mr. Ataur Rahman serves as Bangladesh Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He earned his Master of Commerce degree from Dhaka University in 1985. Mr. Rahman has vast journalistic experience including his stints at "The Daily Janata" and "The Dainik Bangla."






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