Ekushe Academy Book Fair 2022
Ekushe Academy Australia celebrated International Mother Language Day with the Ekushe Book Fair at Ashfield Park on 20th March 2022.
The Ekushey Book Fair is held every year at the foot of the International Mother Language Day Monument at Ashfield Park in Sydney under the initiative of Ekushe Academy Australia to commemorate the martyrdom of 21st of February 1952 and spread the importance of upholding our Bangladeshi heritage, language, and history in Australia, for the next generations.
After 3 weeks of heavy rain, the prospect of proceeding with the Book Fair was under threat. Having already been rescheduled a month later from February, due to the rising COVID cases, we were already very mindful of the fact that the Book Fair this year could be cancelled. However, with the collaboration of Inner West Council and our tireless efforts to ensure the safety of our patrons and maintaining the park grounds, the Ekushey Book Fair for 2022 was able to proceed ahead.
The program took off with the ‘Provat Feri’, the ‘Language March’ at 09:21am. Consulate General of Bangladesh, Engr. Khandker Masudul Alam, Honourable Member of Federal Parliament Tony Burke, Deputy Mayor Inner West Council, Jessica D'Arienzo, Australia Red cross, Ronny Maroun, Architect and human rights activist Kavita Chakma, CEO & Co-founder of Deputy, Ashik Ahmed, Consul of Bangladesh, Ashfaq Hossain and Councillor of Canterbury Bankstown council, Karl Saleh, were among those during the official proceedings. Speakers at the meeting emphasised the importance of preserving all languages, no matter how few people speak them. They pointed out that each language is a bearer of its own culture, a witness to the times.
The meeting highlighted the various activities of Ekushe Academy Australia: Blood Donation Program; participation in Clean Up Australia Day; raising awareness of organ and tissue donation; Ekushe Academy’s art program ‘Canvas Kids’; and Ekushe Art Exhibition.
The main sponsor of this year’s Ekushey Book Fair was the well-known magazine ‘Provat Feri, published in Sydney. In their separate speeches, President Abdul Matin and General Secretary Rownak Hasan thanked Sravanti Kazi Ashrafi, Chief Secretary of Provat Feri.
Throughout the day there were various events in memory of the great language movement. As always, the main attraction of the fair is the collection of books showcasing the literature, essays and poetry of writers in Australia and abroad. The writings of Ekushe Academy Australia’s magazine, ‘Matrivasha’ was especially appreciated by mela patrons.
The cultural program began with children’s and youth performances with an assortment of songs, poems, dance and drama from various artists played throughout the day. Apart from the artists of Ekushe Academy Australia, the participation of different community groups was vibrant. Notable among these was the presence of Poetry Afternoon, Jumma Cultural Group, Pencil Australia and Hobby Theatre. The program also included the unveiling of new publications, photography exhibitions and jumping castle for children. There was also row of local food vendors selling Bangladeshi delicacies and street snacks for all to enjoy.
Amongst the book stalls, there was also the participation of non-profit organisations: Bangladesh Australia Disaster Relief Committee, raising funds to aid Australians affected by the recent floods; NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service, raising awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation; and Bangladesh Medical Society of NSW.
Dr. Sultan Mahmud, Vice-President of Ekushe Academy Australia, concluded the program by announcing the advance date of 2023 Book Fair (19th February 2023).
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