News Center -TDO - Today (14th of April) is the first day of the Bengal new year, also known as Pohela Boishakh. Pohela means first and Boishakh is the first month of the Bengal calendar. Pohela Boishakh is an integral part of the country's cultural heritage. In addition to special traditional food and music, this event, called “Mongol Sobhajattra”, which takes place to meet the New Year with new hopes and desires, is now recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage.
On this occasion, Mohammad Monirul Islam, the Consul General of Bangladesh in Istanbul, said: “Pohela Boishakh is one of the most important socio-cultural festivals of Bangladesh. Due to the ongoing outbreak, we are not holding any celebrations this year. However, we use digital and social media platforms to convey the depths and emotions of our souls in honor of the day, which means innovation, power and vitality on the one hand, and love, unity, solidarity and cooperation on the other. These are very important values in the present circumstances, because humanity is going through an extraordinarily difficult time.
Bangladesh and Turkey are linked by common history and culture. A few examples of our cultural and emotional relations include the naming of a road in Ankara named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the ancestor of the Bangladesh nation, and the naming of a road in Dhaka named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the historical Sufi connections between the great saint Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi and Shah Jalali of Bangladesh, as well as the writing of poetry works of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam
We are committed to enhance cultural ties and exchanges between our two brotherly countries, this will not only increase the level of understanding and connection between the two peoples, but also business, investment, education, tourism, and other human relations areas such as the strengthening of cooperation will contribute positively.
I wish the Bengal New Year to be a new beginning on the road of happiness, peace, development and prosperity not only for Bangladesh, Turkey, Bangladesh-Turkey cooperation, but also for the whole world.
Turkish academics, travelers, members of the media and cultural activists who have visited Bangladesh and/or mastered Bangladeshi culture greeted the people of Bangladesh at this important event. Prof. Orhan Kural, academician and President of Turkish Travelers Club, made the following statement: "As you know, I am the 50th most traveled person in the world with 193 nations. Of course, among them, Bangladesh is one of the most impressive countries. Bangladesh is such a friendly country that they named one of the biggest boulevards named after our great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. They sent us help during our war of independence by selling people who were not very economically wealthy, many things they owned. April the 14th, the New Year Festival in Bangladesh. People from all religions and societies come together and celebrate the New Year, the spring. On this occasion, I congratulate the beautiful people of Bengal and their founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and wish them a fruitful harvest. Of course I have visited this country and I have 17 travel books and of course Bangladesh has taken an important place in these books.”
Mr. Musa Kesler, a journalist who attended one of the Bangla New Year celebrations in Bangladesh, recalled his memories and said: “Beautiful People of Bangladesh, sister country Turkey, sister city Istanbul, my deepest and sincere regards to you. Happy New Year. We're dealing with a troublesome virus and hopefully we can get rid of it from April the 14th. I have visited your country before and toured many of your cities, returning to my country with many beautiful memories. I've tasted your food, listened to your music, rode rickshaws and met some very nice people. I've seen that by working hard you can move your country forward. I believe that you will use your energy and other resources to put your country in a much better position. When I see the spark in the eyes of students from Bangladesh, I easily understand their desire to serve their country after completing their education. As long as you have such a special youth you can look to the future with more ambition and pride. Once again I wish you happiness, health, success and prosperity.”
The founder and author of the Sufi Academy, Hakan Mengüç, said: “For me, Bangladesh and Turkey are two sister countries. Their culture, way of life and tolerance are quite similar. Just as Mevlana was the cure for Hearts, Lalon Shah was the cure for the people of Bengal. We were able to blow what we had at the events of the Consulate General of Bangladesh in Istanbul. Hopefully one day we can perform in Bangladesh as well. On this occasion I celebrate the New Year of Bangladesh. I hope to see you in good times soon."
On this important day in Bangladesh, let us hope and pray that the challenge facing the world right now will soon be over. We also wish the friendship between Bangladesh and Turkey to live long.