North South University Sanskritik Sangathan, to mark the first day of spring in Bengali calendar, arranged a daylong celebration at their premises. Young people in colourful attire participated to bring life to the campus, after attending the programme, Sahadat Hossain Likhon writes
FALGUN arrives every year with promises of festivity in the air and North South University NSU embraces the king of all seasons with all the warmth it could offer. Pahela Falgun marks the first day of the eleventh month ‘Falgun’ in Bengali calendar and the day carries much significance because it means the very beginning of the most anticipated ‘Basanta’ (spring season). The day is celebrated with much enthusiasm across the country and NSU rejoiced the event with flying colours.
In the past few years through snippets of videos aired in news channels or social media posts by my friends from NSU, I had glimpses of how the students of NSU celebrate their Pahela Falgun festival. But this year, I have had the fortune of witnessing their way of celebration in person and in all honesty, my experience was overwhelming. The advantage that NSU has is that it boasts a state-of the art campus with a huge area and this advantage makes it possible for the events organised within NSU to stand out. There was a pack full of crowd and yet I didn’t feel congested for once. Owing to a campus spacious enough, I could roam around everywhere with convenience and was able to cherish every arrangement made all over the place. The inherent luster of the campus with its gardens and galleries was successfully accompanied with an awe-inspiring decoration. As people enter through the gate passing the info desk, they are drawn to lift their heads straight up to behold the illustrious decoration. Several lines of big colourful clothes are tied to the railings of the balconies surrounding both the buildings in each side and thus, this rally of colourful big clothes forms a circle which hangs high above the people standing in the compound. Such a view was worth seeing whether you see it looking upward standing in the compound or above the ground from the balconies. The floor beneath was as decorative as what was above because the big compound was given life by a beautifully drawn alpona. However, as I crossed over to the other side of the campus walking the stairs, I found the atmosphere more colourful and obviously more vibrant. I really liked the attention to the detail that was given in creating a good looking environment in a simple manner. Paper crafts of varying colors and structures were hanging above all over the place and the addition of colorful origami (the art of making butterflies, boats, birds etc by folding papers) dangling from the thin branches of trees amidst the greenery was the complimentary beauty. Adding a lot to the beauty of the atmosphere, however, was the crowd itself. Ladies clad in sarees of widely varying colorus and crowned with floral hair bands graced the floors while gents also added to the festivity wearing punjabis. All in all, Pahela Falgun in NSU campus was a vast spectrum of colours to please your eyes with.
The gates to the festival were open for the visitors from 9 am and they were kept entertained till 7 pm. North South University Sanskritik Sangathan NSUSS toiled hard and successfully organised the big event.
Any national event of the present times reflects a lot of western influence over our own traditional culture and practices. Nevertheless, this event made a praiseworthy attempt in paying respect to what truly reflects the Bengali culture. The event took off with live performances of traditional folk songs by artists who are not university students. It feels good to listen to songs of very traditional kinds in front of a large audience. This should encourage the youth to listen to such songs which they don’t care about much these days. Following these performances, the big stage was then taken over by the students and they didn’t nearly disappoint. The enjoyment of seeing live performances is always unmatched and on top of that, the students exhibited their musical talent which kept the audience engaged and also going crazy. The great number of songs they performed consisted of celebrated classics and contemporary hits. The song choices were what usually interest the audience the most and the crowd was consistently hit by the musical waves. People in the crowd responded with cheerfulness when performers sang ‘Tumi ki Shara dibe’ and then found themselves lost in a trance as they all sang ‘Shoigo Basanta Batashe’. All the excitement reached its peak when finally ‘AvoidRafa’ ascended the stage and drew the attention of everyone present there.
Students also paid homage to Kazi Shehjad Haque, a NSU student and one of the members from NSUSS, who had an untimely death this year in a bike accident. In memory of Kazi Shehjad Haque, students dedicated a song that had the line, ‘Ami chilam tomader e majhe’.
As much as people were able to have fun, they could also afford to sit back and relax. There were plenty of places including the balconies, study hall, big gallery of the open air theatre behind the stage and the mini gallery where people could pass a fun time chatting and resting before catching on to their favorite performances with restored energy.
One of the most memorable moments took place when everyone rushed to secure a place around the balconies and as close as possible to the railings. Students gathered in the compound situated on the other side of the galleries and started dancing to the beat of songs. While they danced, all eyes were on them from above the balconies and people standing behind the glasses in the bridge between north academic building and south academic building. From mobile phone cameras to drones hovering around, beautiful moments such as this were being captured.
A minor but interesting feature of the event was the sticky notes. People could write just about anything on those notes and pin it down on a board for anyone to read. Along with best wishes for the future, these texts written in sticky notes included expressions of feelings to their loved ones such as ‘you are special’ and mostly very humorous quotes likes, ‘Basanta mid e, Basanta quiz e’. However, peoples’ priority always in any event is taking pictures and all the arrangements served this purpose very well. From mini platforms with floral background to the beautiful gardens, there were more than enough spots to take beautiful pictures in. There were also dummies of animals and vehicles made by NSUSS which added to the decoration and people could take pictures with. Needless to mention, there were a plenty of food stalls and all crowded where they could enjoy food items such as biriyani, fuchka and a different kinds of pitha.
Surely, NSU does a fine job of welcoming the spring in a cheerful and fulfilling manner as the students dance and sing to the song of spring. The haze of winter disappears while new leaves grow and here’s wishing that the budding flower in Falgun calls for a blooming brighter future for everyone.
Sahadat Hossain Likhon is an intern with New Age Youth.
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