Lotay Tshering joins Pahela Baishakh celebration, says Bangladesh is his ‘second home’

Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, who studied medical science in Bangladesh, has said that his coming to Dhaka was like the visit to his “second home”.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 14 April 2019, 05:01 AM
Updated : 14 April 2019, 07:44 AM

He enjoyed the Pahela Baishakh celebrations in Dhaka in the early morning of Sunday before leaving for Mymensingh to visit his alma mater Mymensingh Medical College where he studied for seven years.

The Bhutanese doctor-turned-politician was also in Dhaka for four years to complete his post-graduation in surgery from the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University.

“I am very happy to be here,” he said, asking all in Bangla: “Did you eat Pantha Bhat?”

He spoke only few words as he was “excited” to go to Mymensingh. “It’s like return to the second home,” he said on his Bangladesh visit.

He was enjoying the musical soiree of ‘Surer Dhara’ at the Bangabandhu International Convention Center or BICC.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen were also present at the event.

Founder of Shurer Dhara singer Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya presented him a book of Gitabitan, collection of Rabindranath Tagore’s songs, after putting ‘Uttorio’ (handloom scarfs) around his neck. Channel i managing director Faridur Reza Sagar and News Director Shaikh Siraj were also present.

Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the New Year, is traditionally welcomed with a call for Bangalees to remember their self-identity in this era of globalisation.

As sun started to rise in the east, Chhayanaut, a leading cultural organisation in the country, greeted the New Year with a chorus singing the songs of Pahela Baishakh, poetry recitations and traditional songs at the historic Ramna Batamul.

Chhayanaut created this landmark national tradition by launching the celebration of Bengali seasons. The musical welcome on the first dawn of Baishakh under the banyan tree in Ramna began in 1967 to resist the Pakistan’s onslaught on Bangla culture.

In the morning, Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Arts brought out the Mangal Shobhajatra or peace rally, a traditional parade, where people from all ages, classes and professions took part carrying masks, dolls, playing drums and other musical instruments.

Shurer Dhara started this celebration just seven years back.

Earlier on Saturday Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a tete-a tete thanked her Bhutanese counterpart for the visit and expressed hope that he would enjoy the Pahela Baishakh celebrations in Dhaka and experience the spirit of “tradition, harmony and tolerance amongst the people of Bangladesh”.

He arrived in Dhaka on Friday on a four-day official visit, first after he assumed his office on Nov 7 last year. This is also the first visit of any head of states after the new government was formed in Bangladesh following December 30 elections.

He will leave Dhaka on Monday morning.

Bhutan was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher