My niece Subha was only three and a half years old when I took her to the Liberation War Museum on March 26. After that, we went to Shaheed Minar to learn about 1952, we bought a flag, and she even got one painted on her fluffy cheeks. You might ask, why introduce such a little thing to such a gruesome part of our history? Because I believe every child of Bangladesh needs to know the cost of independence, and the sacrifices made that allow her to now be a citizen in an independent country.
Her pure little brain and heart took in all the patriotic thoughts that I tried to instill in her, and created a respect for our nation and our people from an early age. We have now all got caught up in our urban lives, and often the only way we remember March 26 is by staying at home and being thankful for a holiday. But this year is the 46th anniversary of our hard-won independence, and we have three long days to recuperate as well as commemorate this important day – so please, do try and take your loved ones, or even just go by yourself, to a few of the following places.
Liberation War Museum
The LWM is organising a week-long Independence Day program from March 22-27 that includes lectures, speeches from valiant freedon fighters, cultural activists and human rights activists, as well as cultural performances from artists hailing from all corners of the country. A day-long Art Camp with renowned artists will also take place at LWM, and there will also be a book fair at the museum's auditorium too, mainly showcasing books on the liberation struggle.
What better way to celebrate independence than visiting the Independence Museum? Many people are still completely unaware of this hidden gem at Suhrawardy Udyan, an entire underground museum located under the tower of light and centred around a beautiful fountain where water falls from the ceiling. It exhibits almost 300 historic photographs and 144 glass panels depicting the history of Bangladesh. You can also find copies of local and foreign newspapers showing the different events of the Liberation War there. Two movies will be screened at the Independence Museum over the coming few days – Peeta
on March 24 at 3:30pm, and Hangor Nodi Grenade
on March 25 at 2pm.
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Bangladesh National Museum[/caption]
Bangladesh National Museum
The National Museum also has a relatively extensive display on the history of 1971, as well as other remnants from our vibrant past that will definitely contribute to your intellectual growth as well as your national pride. Also, two movies will be screened there - Ostitte Amar Bangladesh
on March 24 at 3:30pm, and Joyjatra
on March 25 at 2pm.
National Martyrs' Memorial
If you want to take a break from the chaos of Dhaka city, get out and go to Savar to visit the National Martyrs' Memorial. Built in the memory of the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives in 1971, it is a beautiful place to spend a quiet day recalling these brave, lost souls.
The Language Movement of 1952 was a crucial stepping stone that brought us to 1971, and it is almost impossible to recall the Liberation War without remembering the massacre that occurred on February 21, 1952. The Shaheed Minar is also on the Dhaka University campus, the heart of the liberation struggle and the site of the genocide that occurred on March 25. Spend your day in this area that is steeped in our history – it will definitely be a learning experience.