The Westernization of Bangladesh
For many of the South Asian countries, today is the New Year, from Bangla calendar to the Assamese, Burmese, Oriya, Tamil, Nepali and Sinhalese.
As a Bangali myself, I am fixated on our culture and how it is being demolished.
Pohela Boishakh, as it is called through Bangladesh "New Year" is the day of tradition, from the past. In those times, we used to have fun, eat, sing together, dance in our traditional clothing, watching and listening to the gazi gaans were all part of the traditions.
But today, as one watches the news from my country, they will start to see the Westernization of our culture. One example is how the media has embraced a song called "Melay Jaire," which is performed by a popular band, but is a remix from the Western culture.
Other changes that I have noticed include nuances to our grandest parade through the capital of Bangladesh where politicians use it as an opportunity to give speeches on what they would be doing in office.
A third example is where Western English songs and Westernized Bengali songs have become popular searches and downloads for many of the young Bangladeshis.With regional bands performing Western-influenced music, it has added to the already tense situation indicating that change is coming throughout the nation and eventually, throughout South Asia.
The Westernization of this region is evident in all walks of life, and as one popular TV shows of Bangladesh (Ittyadi) puts it, the culture change has changed Bangladeshis as well.
Natives that grew up in the villages now do not know how to get through a wooden bridge or through the slippery soil. Children do not know what many of the common foods of Bangladeshi are as brand name companies have brought in things like pizza and french fries.
But again, the new year, Pohela Boishakh is a day of joy, goodness for one and others. As the great Bengali poet Rabindranth Tagore said:
"Esho he boishakh, esho esho," which translates to "Come oh Boishkh (the first month of the calendar), Come come."