Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An embracing pride

I received this on April 25th from Angela:

I woke up last night with an insomnia attack where Jhilmil's "pa ma gare sa" song was stuck in my head! I don't even know the words to that song and it's been going through my head ever since. It was one of the most wonderful concerts I've been to in years. Perched between my very white husband and two malayali friends, I was so proud to be a bangali sitting among the audience. The whole time, I was thinking, this is what we are all about. After years of being in the most-corrupted-nation-list or the infamous bottomless-basket-list, this show tells the story of passionate bangalis in the best possible light.

I don't know Faarzein but her words from the AK blog express exactly how I feel also:

" If there were ever a true, ideal Bangla nation, it would be AK because AK is what Bangla nation should be: self-less hospitality, crazy passion for Bangla culture, infectious merryment and pride in being a Bengali.......and all this without any of the religious/political narrow-minded nonsense that afflicts most Bangalis! As far I am concerned, AK is more home to me than Bangladesh. At AK, we worship Bangla culture, we uphold Bangla ideals and we passionately sing Bangla songs! What more could a Bangali girl like me ask for? :)
- Faarzein Mahmud,
on behalf of Amra Kojon"

I would like to add that when Bangalis are proud, it's not because of our might in the sword but rather it's a sense of love for the nature and the people that nourished us, expressed through the poetic hearts and singing voices of our people. The uniqueness about "bangali pride" is that there is an absence of a sense of dominion or power over others. In its place there is an abundance of closeness to our love of culture in whatever form it may take, be it poetry, paintings, songs, or dance.

It's a pride that embraces others and doesn't isolate. It's even more inspiring in these times because pride today means burning down the bridges of understanding and connection between us and them.

Thanks for reminding us of all the songs we grew up with. Songs in which we actually call nature "our mother" and thus invoke a sense of belonging that stretches the boundaries of modern nations and making a family of us all.

Good job all of you for bringing that embracing sense alive!!

-Angela Muhuri,
on behalf of Amra Kojon


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