’s Baishakh celebrations a melting pot of personalities and delicacies

The delayed celebrations of the Bangla New Year come after a three-year break forced by the pandemic

Published : 13 May 2023, 10:23 PM
Updated : 13 May 2023, 10:23 PM has marked the Bangla New Year by bringing together leaders from diverse fields and pampering them with delectable traditional cuisine in a convivial indoor gathering.

In a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Old DOHS in Dhaka’s Banani, the event was held on Saturday, after a three-year break induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The gathering was delayed to the last day of the first month on Bangla calendar as Pahela Baishakh fell during the Ramadan.

Among the attendees were a range of distinguished personalities, including Salman F Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s adviser on private industry and investment, Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, as well as top politicians, diplomats, government officials, businessmen, actors, and professionals.

The event was scheduled to start at 1pm, but a handful of guests arrived earlier. Chit-chats and banters continued well into the afternoon. The gathering saw people from the rival political camps coming together in harmony.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of, extended a warm welcome to the guests and kept them entertained throughout the event along with his colleagues.

The cultural fiesta was graced by the presence of prominent figures from the government and political arenas. Among them was ruling Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-Ul Alam Hanif. Also in attendance were Abdul Moyeen Khan and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, members of the BNP’s National Standing Committee, and Mohammed Tabith Awal from their foreign affairs committee.

The gathering was not limited to any single political party, as representatives from different other parties also joined. They included Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader, Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haq Inu.

Making the occasion all the more pleasant, Atiqul Islam, the mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, made a delightful surprise entrance, bringing with him a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Prominent personalities such as former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University Professor AK Azad Chowdhury, journalist and columnist Bibhuranjan Sarkar, former inspector general of police AKM Shahidul Haque, Friends of the Liberation War Awardee Julian Francis, co-founder of Global Campaign for Education Rasheda K Choudhury, and retired Rear Admiral Azad was also present at the event.

Selim Barkat, the Habib Bank country manager, Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat, chairman of Race Asset Management PLC, and Reaz Islam, managing director of LR Global Bangladesh Asset Management, were also present at the Bangla New Year event.

Bitopi Das Chowdhury, head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing at Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh, was also among the attendees. Syed Almas Kabir, former president of BASIS and managing director of MetroNet Bangladesh Limited, was accompanied by his wife Joya Kabir at the event.

Shoaib Chowdhury, a vice-president of the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was among those present.

Lawyer Tureen Afroz brought her eighth-grade daughter to the event.

Actor and Sampriti Bangladesh Convenor Pijush Bandyopadhyay and his actress wife Jayosree Kar Jaya as well as Professor Mamun Al Mahtab, the member secretary of Sampriti Bangladesh, joined in.

Legendary cricketer and former Bangladesh cricket team captain Raqibul Hasan, who used a bat with ‘Joy Bangla’ written on it in March 1971 when Bangladesh was preparing for freedom from Pakistan, joined the event with his wife Shirin Sultana.

The joyous event had the presence of Najib Ahmed, director of Bangladesh Cricket Board, and former diplomat Shahed Akhtar.

Dr Mohammad Mushtuq Husain, adviser of the National Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), and Baizid Khoorshid Riaz, directorate general of medical education, also attended the event.

Awami League Office Secretary Biplab Barua was unable to join it but sent flowers to

Muhammad Zahidul Islam, head of public communications at mobile financial services company Nagad, and a few others also brought flowers.

Diplomats from various countries also joined the event.

An array of gastronomic delights offered great choices in flavour, with a combination of textures on the plate.

It started off with refreshing green mango juice, lemonade, and green coconut water to prepare the sophisticated palates.

The select guests had traditional staples of Baishakhi fairs to savour, such as parched rice, Batasa, and Nadu along with Singara, Dalpuri and Chatpati.

Main courses to be relished included Beef with Pickle Gravy, Mutton Rezala, Chicken Bhuna, Dried Chhuri, Dried Loitta, Dried Pomfret with Eggplant, Shrimp with Bitter Gourd and several Hilsa items like Hilsa with Mustard Gravy, Fried Hilsa, Hilsa Fish Head with Taro Shoots, Hilsa Egg and Smoked Hilsa.

Guests were also treated to fine delicacies such as Mashed Black Cumin, Mashed Eggplant, Mashed Tomato, Mashed Lentil, Mashed Egg and Mashed Shrimp.

Besides White and Red Rice, there were Bhuna Khichuri and the iconic Pahela Baishakh dish Panta.

Desserts included Payesh, Sweet Yoghurt, Rasgulla from Baarishal, Rasmanjuri from Gaibandha and Khir Sandesh from Jashore.