Bangladesh High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of Bangladesh actively participated at the 11th International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) of
Nigeria (17-24 November, 2018). Held at the FCT Exhibition Pavilion, Abuja, eighteen Embassies, various agencies of the Nigerian Government and a large number of local organisations participated at the mega event which was attracted by thousands of visitors each day.
Bangladesh High Commission put up a beautiful Pavilion, one of the largest, which was colorfully decorated with traditional articles, handicrafts and artifacts. Visited by hundreds of people each day, the Pavilion also carried images of the history, culture, heritage and development journey of Bangladesh. Some exportables including ceramic, melamine products, tea, leather items etc. were also on display. Jute-made items were in large numbers and most of the exhibits were sold out. A good number of publications including on war of liberation, tourism, folk art & crafts were exhibited.
The High Commission also organised a special event entitled ‘Bangladesh Day’ on 23 November, 2018 at the large auditorium on the sideline of the expo to showcase Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s rich culture and traditions. While paying rich tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, HE Md Shameem Ahsan, ndc, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Nigeria in his welcome remarks highlighted on the tremendous achievements Bangladesh made under the dynamic leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He also touched on the rich culture and heritage of Bangladesh while mentioning the recognition of several heritage sites and cultural symbols of Bangladesh by the UNESCO. Otunba Olesegun Runsewe, Director General of the NCAC in his remarks highly praised Bangladesh for being the first diplomatic Mission to confirm participation, and maintained that the participation will add a new chapter in the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Nigeria.
Spectacular performance by the dance artists from Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy mesmerized few hundred guests which included Nigerian dignitaries, Ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of various social and cultural organisations and expatriate Bangladesh nationals, among others. Dance performances by Tamanna Rahaman, Manomi Tanjana Orthy, Mahamudul Hasan and Mridul Pandit featured patriotic, Tagore and Nazrul songs and it earned huge applause, and the cheering crowd greeted them spontaneously. The foreign guests were served with traditional pastry and Bhapa Pitha (rice-cakes) which were highly appreciated. A multi-colour booklet entitled ‘Bangladesh: A Development Surprise’ containing summarized version of the major achievements of the present Government was distributed among the enlightened audience. Two articles which appeared recently in Nigerian influential ‘Daily Leadership’ praising the sagacity and magnanimity of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were also on display at the Auditorium.
Participated for the first time at the colourful international event, Bangladesh Pavilion was ranked one of the two ‘Best Designed Pavilion’ and also shared ‘Best Networking Strategy’ recognition with another country. High Commissioner Shameem Ahsan received the Awards at the closing ceremony.
It may be mentioned here, a 9-member delegation led by Shahana Zaman, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, participated at the international fair which included representatives from Bangladesh Folk Art and Foundation, Sonargaon and artistes from Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.