The Bangladeshi Cultural Group wants to keep the Bangladeshi youth, especially those who were born in the CNMI, informed about their culture and heritage. That’s why last Saturday, March 26, they celebrated their country’s Independence Day.
Close to 80 members of the Bangladeshi community gathered at the Minatchom Atdao Pavilion in Kilili Beach. It was a night of folk songs and speeches that denote patriotism in celebrating the 45th year of Bangladesh being an independent nation.
This was the 19th year that the Bangladeshi community had celebrated their Independence Day on Saipan.
BCG president Rakibul Islam Minto led his countrymen in the singing of the Bangladesh national anthem—Amar Sonar Bangla or My Golden Bengal from a song written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
Minto said every society in the world wants to have the next generation to continue its culture and traditions. “We just want to teach our youth the cultures and traditions of Bangladesh, especially those who were born here from parents who are from Bangladesh.”
“It has been our goal and task to teach and prepare these kids of the patriotic songs of Bangladesh.”
He added that this was the reason why they also celebrate Bangladesh’s important festivals to introduce to the youth the culture of their forefathers.
“We also celebrated Victory Day on Dec. 16 and Mother Language Day last February. On April 14, we will be celebrating the Bengali New Year,” said Minto.
It was in early 1990s when the first group of Bangladeshi came to Saipan to work. Their numbers swelled through the years with some even starting their own families here.
Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan, declared its independence from Pakistan by founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the late hours of March 25, 1971. Rahman became the country’s first president and second prime minister.