Dhaka, November 30 (NIA): The multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Dhaka University festival Mangal Shobhajatra has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, the Bangladesh Embassy in Paris said in a press release.
The decision was taken at the 11th session of the Inter-governmental Committee on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Mangal Shobhajatra, organized by teachers and students of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Arts to celebrate the first day of Bengali New Year, symbolizes the pride of the people of Bangladesh in their living heritage as well as their strength and courage to fight sinister forces, and their vindication of truth and justice, the press release said.
Mangal Shobhajatra on Pahela Baishakh is a vibrant and colorful procession in which thousands of people from all walks of life join freely and spontaneously as part of their celebration of the Bangla or Bengali New Year.
It was in 1989 that the students organized Mangal Shobhajatra first. It literally means “Wellbeing Procession” which is held Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bengali New Year.
The UNESCO has recognized that the festival represents social and national solidarity and shared values like democracy, uniting people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender or age.
The inclusion of Mangal Shobhajatra in the list of cultural heritage of humanity is the result of the Sheikh Hasina government’s proactive cultural diplomacy, the press release read.
The enhanced visibility of Mangal Shobhajatra festival will help reinforce Bangladesh’s image as a secular and inclusive society, it said.