Following the age-old baul tradition, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organised an assembly of bauls and singers to celebrate the first full-moon of the spring on Friday evening on the premises of the academy.
Some seasoned bauls from the south-west region of the country like Anu Fakir, Shahadat Fakir, Bidhan Shah and others, along with urban baul singers including Samir Baul, Rita Mandol and Hiran Sardar attended the programme.
Though the age-old tradition of organising such assembly, which the cult calls shadhushangha, is to exchange religious doctrines followed by the cult, entertain guests with food and of course with songs at least in a daylong event; the assembly organised by the academy in the capital for the delight of the urbanites featured only presentation of songs composed by Fakir Lalon Shah, the most popular guru of the baul tradition.
The audience at the programme enjoyed the show where singers rendered some unique mystic songs like Amar ami na jani sondhan, Se premer bari kothay, Ami bhaber mayay, Raser rashik na hole, Emon manob somaj, Kori mana kaam chharena and others under the full-moon of the spring.
But, those eager to experience the real flavour of traditional shadhushangha were a bit frustrated since they did not get the opportunity to watch how a guru and other guests are entertained by the host-disciple in such assemblies in the rural areas. They could not even enjoy other rituals performed in shadhusanghas.
‘It is not a sadhusanga in real sense as I saw in rural areas, which I intended to show my family members’, said music lover Mahfuzul Haque.
The programme, however, was praised by many others as it gave them a chance to enjoy the mystic songs.
‘It is very pleasant to listen to Lalon songs under the moonlit night here presented by some renowned bauls and singers’, said Ahmed Sadiqur, an audience member.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky said the academy organised the assembly with the title ‘shadhushangha’ for the first time in the capital as part of its safeguarding intangible cultural heritage programme.
‘We organised assemblies of bauls in the past two years at the plaza of the academy. This year, we tried to give more authentic flavour of shadhushangha as organised in the rural areas,’ Lucky said.
‘Efforts would be given to organise shadhushangha in more authentic way,’ he said.
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