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Amar Ekushey Book Fair: A hangout hotspot

  • Published at 01:56 am February 4th, 2018
Amar Ekushey Book Fair: A hangout hotspot
With the cold spell over and spring on its way, many young women were seen thronging the Amar Ekushey book fair wearing colourful saris and garlands of flower on their heads. The men were not to be left behind- a number of them arrived wearing colourful punjabis. They were seen walking around the fair premises and checking out their favourite books. However, not all of the people came with the aim of buying books. Small groups were seen everywhere, conversing and taking selfies with each other. To them, Amar Ekushey book fair had become a venue for a rendezvous. Md Atikur Rahman, a student of the BBA department of Dhaka City College, came with such a group to the book fair. While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, he said: “Ekushey book fair is close to our hearts. Bangla language, culture, history and tradition- these are the foundations upon which the Amar Ekushey book fair stands.” “The history of our language is mixed with the spirit of Ekushey book fair,” said Atikur. Until now, crowds have mostly started to gather in the early evening. There were long lines in front of popular publication stalls so people could grab a copy of their favourite books. A lot of people were seen requesting to get a space between the lines. Unmad magazine Associate Executive Makame Mahmud told the Dhaka Tribune, “The fair has just begun. We have already started to see crowds of young people gathering here since the inauguration. We are expecting a bigger crowd by the middle of this month, especially during the weekends.” In the distance, a group of young girls were seen screaming with joy. After approaching them, one of the young girls, Mushfiqa Mayisha, said she had come with her classmates from Viqarunnisa Noon School and College. “To me, this fair is a place where I can meet up with my friends,” said Mayisha. “Whenever we want to meet up for a gathering, our families impose a lot of restrictions on us. But they allowed us to come to the book fair. It feels great.” She added that that she and her friends were fans of the late novelist Humayun Ahmed. “We miss him and his books in this fair,” she said. Other than the youth, a lot of foreigners were also seen outside the book stalls. Talking to a few of them, it turned out that they were poets and had come to look for local poetry collections. Poet and writer Kristina Carlsson and Arne Johnsson, visiting Dhaka from Sweden, said: “We are very happy coming here. In our country, the book fairs are held indoors, not outdoors like this one. It feels good to roam around under the open sky.” Poet, writer and publisher of Journeyman’s books, Tarik Sujat told the Dhaka Tribune: “I believe the Ekhushey book fair helps to make new readers. In this age of digital e-books, people have rushed here to touch and inhale the scent of new books. I think this fair will play a great role in the progression of Bangla language and literature.”