In my first post I told a little about French innovations and cultural contributions to this world. Our Alliance Française de Chittagong is approaching the same goal since its establishment in 1965. Its founder also came up with the same vision, to enrich our local culture as well as to spread the light of knowledge in our locality.
Having no change in vision, current Alliance Française de Chittagong now representing various cross cultural events on a regular basis. Thus its contribution is so much that can not be stated in a single post. So I will try to describe its cultural contributions in a way.
Alliance Française de Chittagong has been organizing the “FATE DE La MUSIQUE”- International Music Day each year on 21st June for the last 24 years. It was since 2006; AFC decided to bring some renowned artist with a purpose of making a landmark event for all folk lovers. Forida PARVEEN was the first artist who joined this event in 2006; we have had as many as 700 audiences that evening, remarkable indeed.
The following year we had Rezwana Chowdhury BANYA, the famous Rabindrasangeet singer, for the same event. She performed some fantastic Rabindrasangeet on that program. It was also a very successful event. Next year, Shaheen SAMAD was invited for that event, who is undoubtedly one of the most famous Nazrul artists in this country.
Impeccably, her presence on that event was a gracious appreciation for our culture loving generation. Moreover, people from different parts of Chittagong joined that event and enjoyed the music. Their response made that event even more enjoyable.
Last “FATE DE LA MUSIC” was also very special for all folk lovers in Chittagong as we had folk Music legend Kiran Chandra ROY. All the music he sang that evening was my favorite. He started with Guru Bandana (warship to Guru), then commenced singing from Lalon. Later he picked up songs form Rada Rahman, Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah and the Great Sachin Dev Barman. In addition, he delighted the audiences with some rare folk music from different regions of Bangladesh. All the instrumentalists performed electrically through out the event. Finally, he end up with a request form a passionate audience member, unfortunately, it was not me who made it though I tried in vain to convey my request.
This is how we celebrated the “FATE DE La MUSIQUE” in 2009. After that, AFC organized “1st Lalon music conference 2009” on the 9th December in Chittagong for the first time, at AFC premises. Fakir Bazlu shah, Fakir Abul shah, Ustad Mashiur Rahman shah, Abdul Mannan & others were there to present numerous Lalon songs. It was a phenomenal effort to reenergize our lost heritage, as we know nearly 6000 out of 10000 Lalon songs has lost with the course of time. Our director of AFC, Samuel BARTHET and The mayor of Chittagong, A.B.M. Mohiuddin CHOWDHURY was there to enjoy the extraordinary music of Lalon. I enjoyed the whole evening with the rest of audiences.
In 2010, Alliance Française de Chittagong welcomed one of the most prestigious artists in this subcontinent; he is none other then, Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar. He was in AFC premises to present his Dhrupad, unique rendition of his creation, in the program of INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010. We also had Ustad Azizul Islam, great flute musician following day, and Peter Pannake, classical fusionist. Actually, I was lucky to see them performing under same roof. Thanks to AFC.
I know, it’s quite dull to interpret all these names and events than sitting in front and enjoying them. Though, my purpose does not lie in just mentioning the names, but to determine AFC’s generosity to my country's heritage. As we can see it is continuously putting its effort to promote our greatest riches, our folk music. Plus it is revitalizing our lost wisdom for our country music.