And it’s a wrap!

 

by Tehreen Islam

2017 seemed to have whisked away in a jiffy and 2018 is knocking at our doors.  What a fantastic and eventful year this has been!   The year has offered amazing events, movies, food places and much more to make us remember and cherish this year. This edition of Trends brings back the great memories of the year.

Dhaka International Trade Fair:

The 22nd Dhaka International Trade Fair or DITF began on January 1 at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and continued till January 31. Organised jointly by the Export Promotion Bureau and the Ministry of Commerce, this is one of the most awaited event of the year and as usual was welcomed by the ever enthusiastic visitors. The fair had 580 pavilions and stalls from around 15 countries, including host Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Turkey and the United States.

A special attraction this year was the month-long photography exhibition on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s life.

 

Ekushey Boi Mela :

Ekushey Boi Mela, the annual book fair, like every year was held at the Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan premises through the month of February. People got together to celebrate the rich local literary scene.

This year, 649 stalls, and 410 publishing houses attended the fair. What made this year’s book fair different was that it was a tech savvy and youth-centric fair.  Availability of electronic books was welcomed and it received an overwhelming response from visitors which included students and young readers.  3646 new books were launched this year and as new additions, there was a book launching zone, where writers presented their new books and a food stall by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation.

 

Chobi Mela :

The ninth edition of Chobi Mela – photography festival was held this February at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The two week-long event was under the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and organised by Pathshala and Drik. There were more than 30 exhibitions in total with 27 artists from 16 different countries in this year’s Chobi Mela. The theme for Chobi Mela this year was ‘Transition’. The exhibition attracted many photography lovers and was applauded and appreciated. Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Syeeda Khanum and Nasir Ali Mamun

 

International Women’s Day:

The 40th International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated on March 8 this year with a call for ensuring a more gender inclusive world in the workplace. Like rest of the world, different seminars, workshops, discussions and activities were held in Dhaka at different levels of both government and private organisations.

An interesting step was taken by Biman Bangladesh – there was an all-women crew flight on that day.   National carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines operated this special flight with two women pilots and six crew members marking the International Women’s Day.

 

Magic of Movies:

This year was a significant year for movies in Bangladesh with Dhaka Attack and Doob being the most talked about ones of the year.

Dipankar Dipon’s directorial debut Dhaka Attack, country’s first cop thriller, turned out to be a box office champion with over seven crores in sales in its first weekend. People were pulled to the theatre, shows went houseful and social media couldn’t stop talking about it for days and across borders.

Doob – the much-anticipated Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s creation created a whirlwind of controversy. Irrfan Khan, one of the most high profile Indian actors, produced and starred in the movie which was a topic of discussion long before the release over the debate if the film was based on the life of the late Humayun Ahmed. Other than commercial movies,  Abrar Athar’s Life in Other Words and Nuhash Humayun’s  Paperfrogs created quite a stir.

 

Fashion fest:

This year saw Bangladesh reaching new heights in fashion. New fashion lines have been launched; old ones revamped and styles were influenced by international trends. Many of the brands went international and did a great job showcasing local craft and creations.

The biggest fashion treat was definitely the two-day event titled ‘FDCB Presents TRESemmé Khadi ‘The Future Fabric Show’, organised by the Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh (FDCB) and was held at the International Convention City Bashundara (ICCB) in November. Nineteen Bangladeshi and seven international designers showcased their work based on Khadi fabric during this show. The International Weavers Festival also attracted the fashion lovers of the city. This was a showcase of handloom textiles, weaving arts and indigenous crafts by twelve designers and boutiques from Bangladesh, students of three institutions along with designers from Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Portugal, South Korea, Thailand, Cyprus, Italy and Mexico.

 

Music:

This year’s music scenario was actively versatile and vibrant. The two festivals wrapped up the year in style. The third edition of Dhaka international Folk Fest was held in November with performers across borders – Papon, Mauricio Tizumba, Tenzin Choegyal and many more along with local stars like Fakir Shahabuddin, Baula and others. The three days of festival was a fanfare of magic of folk music.

The sixth edition of Bengal Classical Music Festival began on December 26 at a new venue –  Abahani Grounds in Dhanmondi. The festival from December 26 to 30 was dedicated to Dr Anisuzzaman. An impressive line-up of classical musicians performed and enthralled the music lovers of the country.

 

Dhaka Lit Fest:

The seventh edition of Dhaka Lit Fest, an international literature festival, was arranged on the premises of Bangla Academy with over 200 speakers, performers and thinkers from 24 countries. There were over 90 sessions, most times having parallel sessions in both Bengali and English. This event created a bridge between local and international literary figures. One of the highlights of this year’s lit fest was announcing the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature along with the launch of the British literary journal Granta and Gemcon Litarary Awards.  

 

Food:

Our lives revolved around food in 2017.  New places like  Little Korea, Yum Cha District, Bheja Fry, Sushi Samurai , Tasty Tibet, 138 East, Raffinato Restorante Italiano, Bao  and countless restaurants and cafes opened up, each serving  in specific cuisines . International chains like – Tony Roma,  BBQ Tonight, Secret Recipe and some others opened up offering globally popular dishes and delicacies.

Food centric events like – Sehri Night, Baker’s street, Night Bazaar were massive crowd attraction. Besides restaurants, home cooked food by home cookers gained immense popularity making Cookup, online bakeries and similar ventures very successful.

 

BPL :

The fifth season of Bangladesh Premier League was held from November 4 to December 12. With 7 teams in action, this season of the league created quite a buzz. Great local and foreign players, amazing games and glamour maintained the hype it always creates.  The games were held in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. The champion of the season was Rangpur Riders, beating Dhaka Dynamites. The hero of the finale was the Caribbean batting giant Chris Gayle who became the first person to have 20 T20 hundreds as the left-hander smashed an unbeaten 146 off just 69 balls.

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