By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka
Noting that a nation cannot develop without respecting and enriching its own culture, language, art and literature, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday underscored the need for spreading Bangladesh’s art, culture and literature across the world.
“If we can’t respect and enrich our own culture, language, art and literature, we can never develop ourselves as a nation in the global arena,” she said while inaugurating the month-long ‘Amar Ekushey Boi Mela 2018’ and ‘International Literature Conference’ on the Bangla Academy premises in the Bangladesh capital.
The prime minister further said: “We want our art, literature and culture to spread not only throughout the country but also the entire world.”
She said her government sincerely tries to uphold the culture and heritage of the nation whenever it comes to power.
Sheikh Hasina said those who come to power illegally never know how to exercise culture and language.
“Their mentality is actually different to some extent.”
Noting that the nation received a lot of admiration and recognition in the international arena, she stressed the need for continuation of the trend.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor attended the opening ceremony as a special guest while Bangla Academy director general Shamsuzzaman delivered the welcome speech with its President Emeritus Professor Anisuzzaman in the chair.
UK poet Agnes Meadows, Cameroonian poet Dr Joyce Ashuntantang, Egyptian writer and journalist Ibrahim El Masry, and Swedish poet and critic Orne Johnson spoke on the occasion as distinguished foreign guests.
Hasina distributed the Bangla Academy literary award while Bangla Academy presented two books titled Alokchitre Bangla Academir Ithihash and Banghabandhur Sath e Marcher Bhashon: Bohumtrik Bishleshon to the prime minister at the opening ceremony.
Twelve personalities received the Bangla Academy Award.
They are Mohammad Sadik and Maruful Islam (poetry), Mamun Hossain (fiction), Prof Mahbubul Haque (essay), Prof Rafiqullah Khan (research), Aminur Rahman Bhuiyan (translation), Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan and Surma Jahid (literature on Liberation War), Shakur Majid (biography and travelogue), Maloy Bhoumik (drama), Moshtak Ahmed (science, technology and environment) and Jhrana Dash Purokhayshto (juvenile literature).
The Bangla Academy will organise the two-day International Literature Conference on February 22-23 to build a bond between local and foreign writers, poets, novelists as well as to create a platform to exchange their literary works.
The authorities allotted a total of 719 units — 136 at the Bangla Academy ground to 92 organisations and 583 at the Suhrawardy Udyan to 363 organisations.
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