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Probasee Bengalee Association Honours Tagore & Nazrul

Photo: Supplied

The Probasee Bengalee Association recently marked the birthdays of two Bengali literary minds, Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam, with a vibrant event. Celebrated annually, this year's event, held on June 2 at the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre, featured a mesmerising cultural night dedicated to the works of Tagore and Nazrul.

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Tagore's birthday on May 7 and Nazrul's on May 25 hold significant cultural importance in Bengal, making May a month of celebration for the association. Established in 1998, the association has been steadfast in honoring these literary figures, whose contributions to Bengali culture, social reform, art, music, and literature are immense.

RabindraNazrul-1 (1)Photo: Supplied

The theme of this year's celebration was "Baul-Sangeet," focusing on the folk music of the Bauls, mystic troubadours from Bengal and neighboring regions. This theme was chosen for its deep-rooted connection to rural Bengal and its influence on the works of both Tagore and Nazrul. Debalina Basu, the cultural secretary, expressed excitement about exploring this novel theme, which had not been featured in previous events.

The evening began with senior community members lighting candles to honor Tagore and Nazrul. The program featured a series of songs and dances accompanied by a script that provided background stories and historical context for each performance. The script, written by Bharat Manna, added depth and meaning to the performances, making the event both entertaining and informative.

Photo: Supplied

The first half of the program showcased songs by Tagore and Nazrul, while the second half featured lively dance performances. Participants, ranging from four-year-olds to seasoned performers, showcased their talent and enthusiasm, reflecting the association's commitment to engaging the younger generation and preserving Bengali culture.

"A key goal of the Probasee Bengalee Association is to involve the younger generation, ensuring they learn about their language and culture," says Cultural Secretary, Madhurima Chatterjee.

The event also featured participants from sister organisations Nandan and Bhabna, highlighting the collaborative spirit of the Bengali community in Auckland. A food stall by Bhoj offered traditional Bengali delicacies, adding to the cultural experience.

Photo: Supplied

The technical team's work behind the scenes significantly enhanced the quality of events. When aspects like lighting and sound are expertly managed, the event leaves a lasting impression on its audience, says Madhurima Chatterjee.

The night concluded leaving the audience with a sense of joy and appreciation for Bengal's rich cultural heritage. General Secretary Shopan Dasgupta expressed gratitude for the overwhelming turnout and the positive feedback from attendees, noting that the event exceeded expectations with over a hundred attendees. The Probasee Bengalee Association's annual celebration continues to be a highlight for the Bengali community in Auckland, showcasing the enduring legacy of Tagore and Nazrul in a vibrant and engaging manner.

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