To take Dhaka music lovers towards the spiritual path of Sufism that has been serving humanity for centuries in the world, the second International Sufi Festival is on at the open premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Organised by Allama Rumi Society of Bangladesh and Hathkhola Foundation in association with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and BSA, the festival is offering the essence of Sufi songs by the artistes of India, Turkey and Iran together with the mystic folk songs of Bangladesh.
The three-day (February 23-25) festival, themed on “Music for Unity”, was inaugurated by Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor as chief guest on Friday. Abbas Vaezi Dehnavi, Iranian Ambassador to Bangladesh, and Devrim Öztürk, Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh, attended the inaugural ceremony as special guests. Liaquat Ali Lucky, DG, BSA delivered welcome address while Abdul Karim, president of Allama Rumi Society of Bangladesh, and member-secretary of the festival organising council Yusuf Muhammad spoke at the event.
“We, the people of Bangladesh, are living here in a multi-religious and cultural ambience. This unity speaks of our non-communal spirit. The songs of Lalon, Hason, Radha Raman and others echo that spirit of unity,” said Asaduzzaman Noor.
Singers of Maizbhandari Moromi Goshthi set off the event. On the opening day Rafat rendered several songs like “Musafir Mon” and “Chherey De Nouka Majhi” while Pervez sang “Barey Barey Ar Asha Hobe Na” and “Ekdin Matir Bhetorey Hobe Ghar”. Shah Mohammad Samir Hossain with his troupe performed Qaawali including “Chol Rey Chol Kafela Bendhe” and “Ali Ali Mawla Ali”.
Renowned Baul artiste Shafi Mondal mesmerised the audience with his interactive performance of songs predominantly composed by Lalon Shai. He rendered several songs like “Doyal Guru”, “Ami Mon Mondir-e Puja Debo”, “Ghar-e Keba Jagey Keba Ghumaye” and “Allah Bolo Mon Rey Pakhi”. He also demystified the lyrics of a Lalon song “Kanar Haat Bazar” while performing. The opening day’s proceedings were wrapped up with the performance sonorous Sufi songs by the Delhi-based troupe Sufi Bawra.
However, the sound system of the programme was rather cacophonous, and left much to be desired.
A seminar on Sufism took place yesterday while Bangladeshi singers Pulak, Shirin and Razzaq, Kiran Chandra Roy and Chandana Majumdar, Tuntun Baul and Hanif Baul and a 22-member troupe from Turkey entertained the audience.
The festival comes to an end today with the performances of Bangladeshi singers — Hyder and Haroon, Iqbal Hyder, Siraj Baul, Kangalini Sufia, Kajol Dewan and Joler Gaan coupled with the offering of Sufi numbers by Roohani Sisters (India) and an Iranian troupe.