The Amar Ekushey Book fair saw a huge crowd of visitors on the first day of Bangla month Phalgun 1424 on Tuesday adorned in traditional and colourful attires and in a festive mood.
Youngsters, even elderly couples, wearing traditional garb in yellow, green and other colours as well as floral headbands, flocked at the fair premises since the fair opened at 3:00pm.
Law enforcement personnel were having a difficult time to scan the large number of visitors through the different entrances of the fair.
Friends and family members inside the fair were seen taking selfies. Publishers and stall attendants said they were satisfied with the day’s sales due to more presence of visitors.
Stall attendants at many stalls were busy displaying novels, anthology of poems and other books.
Azmeri Ahmed, Sajjadur Rahman, Ashiq Arfan and Sumaiya Sharmeen, all students of Dhaka University were visiting the fair to celebrate the first day
of spring. They said that they had purchased and exchanged new books with each other.
On the day, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan and cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor visited the fair.
They expressed satisfaction with the presence of visitors amid strict security measures.
Noor told reporters that celebration of seasonal festivals like the book fair would uphold cultural harmony, which is crucial for the country’s well being.
Academic and Creative Publishers Association Bangladesh president and Anyaprakash publisher Mazharul Islam told New Age that celebrating first day of Phalgun with booklovers was more important than selling books on the day.
Although all the visitors were not carrying bags full of books, Tamralipi publisher AKM Tariqul Islam said that the day’s turnover at his stall was very impressive.
Amjad Hossain Khan Kajol, sales manager of Oitijjhya, said most of the buyers purchased novels, short stories and collection of poems from his stall.
According to the book fair information centre, 150 new titles hit the fair with 57 collections of poems leading the tally on the 13th day of the fair.
The academy held a discussion on women’s safety and their security. Khushi Kabir presented the keynote paper at the discussion chaired by Ayesha Khanam.
Celebrating Pahela Phalgun, singers Sandipan Das, Anjum Ara Shimul and Qazi Muyid Shahriar Siraj Joy presented songs at the Mela Mancha on the evening.
The academy will organise a discussion today on inactivity of children organisation and children’s cultural development. Psychiatrist Mohit Kamal will present a keynote on the issue.
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