Bangladesh Mela 2024 Narrative


Bangladesh Mela will be held on August 31st  and September 1st of 2024 at Virgil Middle School ground Los Angeles, California. As you know, Los Angeles is a modern, thriving cosmopolitan community famous for its diverse culture, multiple industries with cutting edge technologies, and world class research and educational institutions. The role Los Angeles plays as the energy capital of the world, and space pioneers at JPL Center are no secrets around the globe.

You are aware of the role of Bangladesh Mela in revitalizing and rejuvenating special bonds among fellow Bangladeshi’s and many entrepreneurial ideas germinating from these gatherings. “Bangladesh Mela 2024” has some added significance as we just passed the centennial birth anniversary of the founding leader of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Here is a descriptive synopsis of Bangladesh Mela -Mela In the traditional Bangladesh society, mela or folk fair was a very common and regular feature characterized by festivities and marketing. Many melas are organized on conglomeration of people was naturally accompanied by marketing of various commodities and services. Like most other societies Bangladesh peoples also held melas with multiple purposes, such as religion, marketing, cultural activities, games and sports and other entertainments.

Many melas are of ancient origins. Many melas were added to the existing concept of mela over time and the process came down to date. Melas were formerly names after the purposes of the mela. For examples, ‘Surya-Mela’ (Sun fair), ‘Surya-thakurerBrata’ (vow of Sun god), ‘Chaitra-sankrantirBraterMela’ (fair of vow on the occasion of conclusion of the month Chaitra), ‘Charak-Mela’ and ‘ShiberGajanMela’. On the other hand, the cloud god ‘Barun-Baruni’ gave rise to ‘SnanerMela’ (Bath-taking Fair). At one time, ‘Barun’ or ‘BarunirSnanerMela’ used to take place all over Bengal.The name Banni was taken from the word Baruni (cloud, sky).

It has been estimated by fair specialists that over five thousand fairs are held annually in towns and villages of different regions of Bangladesh. There are always specific aims and objectives behind holding a fair. They may be related to vows, anniversaries, festivals or in reminiscence of specific themes or heritage. A natural trend in the holding of fairs is gathering of men, women and children at a particular place for a day or a week or even a month. Economically, special attraction of fairs is exhibition of a huge quantity of essential household items, and holding of folk-drama (Jatra), circus, puppet dance, performing arts, exhibitions of arts, music etc.

Previously, almost all the fairs were village-based; but now it held both in rural or urban areas. These fairs can be roughly classified into seven categories based on their purposes: 1. Fairs on religious occasions; 2. Fairs on the occasion of agricultural festivals; 3.Seasonal fairs; 4. religious fairs centering a dargah; 5. Fairs on the occasion of memorials/festivals commemorating the births and deaths of venerable people etc; 6. Cultural fairs; and 7. Exhibition and sale of commercial goods, though all melas have the element of selling and buying. All communities including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and ethnic peoples organize fairs on some occasions religious or secular. There are also some seasonal fairs. For example, the BaishakhiMela held on the occasion of welcoming Bangla New Year has a longstanding tradition.

Various cultural fairs are organized on the occasion of observing some national days. These include: Language Martyrs Day on 21 February, the Independence Day on 26 March and the Victory Day on 16 December. Book fairs are also regularly held in Bangladesh on the basis of this cultural spirit. They mostly take place in urban areas, but have spread to some district and divisional towns as well in recent times. The holding of fairs on the occasion of Twenty-first February and Victory Day is relatively recent. The EkusheyBoimela (Book-fair) held on Bangla Academy premises throughout the month of February has already become a heritage. The book-fairs are now taking place even in faraway towns. Alongside book-fair at national level, mobile book-fairs are also organized by the National Book Centre in rural townships. Fairs are also organized on the occasion of national days. In recent times, BijoyMela has been introduced in Chittagong on the occasion of Victory Day.

The latest addition to fairs has been the exhibition and sales fair of commercial commodities. It is basically a product of the ideas and experiences gathered from overseas. These exhibitions generally take place in towns. Administrative supervision was also added to this holding of fairs at district and sub-divisional towns. But these traditional exhibition-fairs of agro-industrial goods went through a period of decline over time. At present, an international trade and export fair is regularly held at Sherebangla Nagar of Dhaka. It may be noted that this fair is the biggest, most varied and richest one for commercial exhibition and sale of commercial goods. Besides, numerous fairs of commercial commodities take place in Dhaka on a regular basis at different times of the year. They are called handicrafts fair, handloom fair, industrial fair, textiles fair, etc. The organizers of most of

Opportunities are created for displaying and selling items produced by peasants, blacksmiths, potters, weavers, confectioners, and artistes-technicians in villages during Baishakhi fairs. The small businessmen decorate their shops with agro-based commodities, sweets, handicrafts, artistic items made of clay and cane. Colored flute made of bamboo and palm-leaves, horns, one-stringed (Ektara) and two-stringed (Dotara) musical instruments, tabor, balloon, top, marble, kite, reel, rotating wheel, puppet, clay-horse, wooden-horse, and birds made of wood, paper and bamboo, household utensils made of clay, pitcher, glass bangle, string of glass-beads etc. are displayed for sale. In addition, there are also furniture, beds, divan, bedstead, chairs-tables, dress-stand, cupboard, husking pedal, wooden seat, wheel, etc. Besides, brass pot, vessels and containers, plough, yoke, iron chopper, axe, sharp tool, scissor, hoe and ornamental ring with bells are also sold. Various confectionary items like kadma, jilipi, batasha, khaja, mithai, laddu, motorbhaja, tiler-khaja, khagrhai, etc. are found in abundance.

Another attraction of Baishakhi fairs is woven textiles. The weavers bring embroidered saris, dhoti, lungi, gamchha (napkin made of handloom), bed cover etc. for selling at the fair. Children’s dresses are also found in one corner of the fair. The ladies flock to the shops displaying ornaments made of silver, bronze and brass with the intention of buying. Some educational exhibitions suitable for lifting the lifestyle of agriculturists and laborers of the village are also shown in the fair. These include display of livestock, spinning with the help of charka (spinning wheel), the technique of welding, nursery etc. Various kinds of fans, mats, quilts, and products made of string, cane and bamboo made by village-girls are also put on display. Arrangements are also there for display and sale of different high-quality vegetables, poultry and crop seeds. As you may know by now what are the root causes of the Bangladeshi Melas in various part of the world and in several occasions.

Based on the facts above Bangladesh Mela is incorporated as a non-profit 501 (c) organization in Los Angeles to boost the Bangladeshi Angelinos and other under privileged communities to bring together for sharing inter multi-cultural views, thoughts and promoting culture among far south east Asia and USA. There are more than 150 Million Bengalis are spread over the whole world as expatriates and our main goal is to bring them close by having such international events annually. Thus far we are here to present and host Bangladesh Mela 2023 in the City of Los Angeles a sprawling California city and the center of the nation’s film and television industry near the corridor of “Little Bangladesh” adjacent to mid-Wilshire district. We will stage our program by setting multi-cultural events, performing dances, reciting poems, music and so on. We are also inviting performers, singers, dancers from different ethnicities, communities and nations including renowned singers and performers from abroad.