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Bengali Association of Greater Atlanta (BAGA) presents ‘Aohbaan’ (Invitation/Announcement), a unique cross community festival or ‘mela’ that provides a forum for everyone to celebrate ethnic south Asian culture and also experience a slice of rich Bengali heritage. ‘Aohbaan’ will be held at Norcoss High School between 12:00 – 9:00 PM on May 5.
The time of year chosen for ‘Aohbaan’ is also quite significant. Birthday of the poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore is celebrated on 25th day of Baisakh. Popularly known as ‘Poncheeshe Boishakh’ in Kolkata, the day which according to the Gregorian calendar is generally 8th or 9th of May each year is celebrated ceremoniously across West Bengal. ‘Aohbaan’s 70 minute finale titled “Where the mind is without fear” will be a culmination of the festivities paying homage to Tagore and his mission to bridge various communities, groups and ultimately the nation together.
‘Aohbaan’ has five different ‘F’ verticals for everyone to enjoy – ‘Food, Fun, Fashion, Fest, - and Finale’. Different varieties of food including Bengali vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks, biryaani and chaat corners, Mughlai, kabob and Mithai corners will be part of the grand fare. A festive ambience of songs, dances, acts, art forms, street plays, and such will add color and vigor to the occasion. Local businesses are invited for fashion items including sarees, salwars, dresses, jewelry, accessories and more. The Kids corner, face painting, mehndi, sketching, hoopla and other activities are planned to keep the kids and adults occupied. The Finale, a tribute to Tagore, will be a presentation from the Bengali community to all other communities gathered at the event. More information is available online at http://www.baga.net/
A distinctive feature for those with a flair for art, an Art Gallery featuring artwork from amateur, seasoned and professional artists will be part of the festivities.
‘Aohbaan’ invites all communities to actively participate and present their pieces at the event. Communities are welcome to present dance or song performances of their choice in a street play format.
“Bringing together communities, to share ideas, views, perspectives and to appreciate and showcase each other’s culture” Abir Thakurta, President of BAGA says is the main idea behind ‘Aohbaan’. ‘Very often we are enamored with serving our own respective regional communities. We figured why not invite all other communities into our home and share ideas and celebrate together. The idea to bring all groups together is sort of inspired from Tagore also’ explains Avro Deb, Vice President of BAGA.
A unique platform of food, fun, fashion, arts, literature, music, songs and dances to and from various communities, with a glimpse into the Bengali culture, sure seems like a lot of fun and something to looking to look forward to this May. BAGA invites all communities to be part of Aohbaan’ this May 5th. Enjoy, share some culture! Aohbaan beckons!