Eid al Adha

Eid al Adha,  also called Feast of the Sacrifice was following day of Hindi festival, Puja.
There are 2 Eid for a year, and this time is the second one following Eid Al Fitre.
Let me tell story of Feast of the Sacrifice I heard from my colleague.
Prophet Ibrahim(Abraham) saw dream one day.
Allah told him to sacrifice the most precious thing for him to show submission to Allah.
Ibrahim thought and sacrificed his livestock.
But on the day Allah told him it shouldn't have been the most precious thing for him.
Ibrahim thought again and realized it was his son, Ismail.
Ismail accepted to be sacrificed as it's Allah's will.
2 of them hided their eyes, Ibrahim tried to sacrifice Ismail from the morning to evening.......but somehow he couldn't though seriously tried.
Ibrahim asking Allah for solving the problem.
Then, Ibrahim finally got feeling that he'd done, and open his eyes.
Sheep was slaughtered instead of his son.
Allah sent sheep from the heaven because what he wanted was not Ismail's life but Ibrahim's serious faith.

To remember this incident, people slaughter animal once a year.
This is Eid al Adha.
So, let's see how it is like.

From few days before, cows to be sacrificed are carried by trucks.
This is "cow market".

The one I visited wasn't a big one, but this line of cows lasted 2 km.

Cow may know what will happen...

This is another cow market.
Besides cow, some goods for the festival.
Round trunk used as cutting board.
Rope to tie cow.
Here and there, you can see cows tied in front of house. 
It was a little strange to see cows on every street.
This picture was taken in Baridhara where rich people live.
Tent for cow was made...and 3 cows were tied.
Cow usually costs 30,000tk to 40,000tk ($380-520).
But one of the cows costs 350,000tk($4,500), I heard.

Some people buy cow together with relatives and share.
I don't really get sense to "buy a cow".....but it is important Muslim festival.

I will write of the day, Feast of the Sacrifice next time.



Not information of Durgapuja, but of Mymenshingh.
I want to add some more information.

We were looking for tea after dinner.
Then, found hot milk instead of tea.

I have never seen milk in Dhaka.
They add sugar into milk, and serve with glass.(so it's hot to hold)
It was good though I don't usually drink hot milk.
Then, Hotel Amir international is where we stayed. 

Room is clean.
In addition, from window, you can enjoy view of Bangladesh street (which isn't really clean).
AC twin for 1440tk
Hot shower is available because my friend who stayed next room could use hot shower.
I wasn't lucky as for hot shower.
Hope you get it :)
Breakfast is included.
Hotel staff brings to your room.
Tea is free though coffee costs 30tk for a cup.

We ordered black coffee which means NO sugar.
But somehow........it was sweet.
I understand that coffee is sweet if I say "less sugar", but don't understand how "NO sugar" coffee can be sweet.
Don't worry, staff brings another cup soon as requested.
I can say it was quite comfortable stay.

 Hotel Amir International
Address:Palika Shopping Center, 46, 46/A, Station Rd. Mymenshingh



Durgapuja in Mymenshingh (2)

The last day of Durgapuja, statues are thrown to river.
We saw Durga statues carried by trucks from a boat on the river.

Music was played, Durga statues came.

Men carried statues, but big one can be 150kg.
It isn't easy to carry.

Once music stopped and announce was made because it was time for azan.
Hindi cares Muslim's praying time
This harmony is beautiful.

Muslims in Bangladesh isn't fundamentalists.
In general, Bangladeshi people don't care.......many things.
It works in a good way in terms of religion.
I, Buddhist can join the festival and no one seems caring foreigners taking pictures of their religious festival.
Even Muslims join to Hindi festivel, I heard.

There are street stands to sell toys or accessories.

A friend suggested me to buy something in memory, then pointed at hair pins whose shape is fish.....
Definitely, no use later.....
While I was telling the unnecessity, Jun bought the fish pinS.
Not a fish pin, but PINS.

OK, let's wear them together!

We are "Team Sakana(fish in Japanese)"

We laughed a lot only by this fish pins.
Some of us realized Bengali people watched us wondering our group wearing fancy fish pins.
Doesn't matter.

Later, we were again invited for dinner.
Menu is Duch curry for this special day.
With spices, it tasted very good.
With friends, one more picture(with toys we got in festival).
Thank you for letting me enjoy Puja!


Durgapuja in Mymenshingh (1)

Oct. 10-14 was Durgapuja.
It is the biggest Hindu festival which celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil.
It lasts 5 days.(she stays for 5 days)
At the last day, the statue of Durga was brought to river and thrown.

I planned to see the festival Dhakeshwari Temple and Buriganga river in Dhaka.
However, I decided to go to Mymenshingh(where many Hindi live) with a JICA volunteer, Jun who works as cooking instructor.
He works next building of my office, so I sometimes (or let me say ofen....) visit his office.
I decided to go with him at 11p.m. on 12th, and started on 13th.
Big holiday is coming for this Durgapuja and Eid (Muslim festival) in Bangladesh.
We went to Mohakali bus terminal, but we could only get ticket 2.5 hours later.
No wonder, it's before holiday!
You would better not to plan trip 11p.m of the day before your departure.
We arrived in Mymenshingh around 9p.m.
So, let's start visiting Hindi Temples!
It seems strange for me that "temple with light up".
But it is festival.
Young people are dancing with music.
It's like "Temple-Dsico!"
Using the front of a store, live band.....
Streets are also light-up!
People move temple to temple, dance with music all over the night.
Bengali people stay up late!
(and eat late....we had "second dinner" at 1:30 in deepnight)
When we back to hotel......it was nearly 2 a.m, but town was still awake.

Good night for this time!
I will report about the last day of Puja next time.


World Tourism Day

September 27 was World Tourism Day.
The purpose is to raise awareness on the role of tourism in international society.
The day was chosen as the day the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted.

Theme of this year is "Tourism and Water"
2013 is declared as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation.
Water is necessary in all industry including tourism.
Besides, tourism often comes with waterside such as beach, lake, water fall.....
Even in Bangladesh where no image of water tourism, beach in Cox's bazaar, Sadar Ghat(port in Dhaka), Podda river are counted as tourist attractions.
"Where water is, tourism is."

To show our presence, tourism related organizations rallied.
We, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation joined rally wearing the same T shirt.
I wouldn't have worn aqua color if I know our T shirt is yellow.
Aqua color was seen from yellow sleeve.....what's more, I wore aqua and blue printed pants.
Color combination wasn't the best.

Anyway, rally started from the front of Ramna Restaurant to Curzon Hall, Doel Chaty and closed at TSC(Teacher and Student Center) of Dhaka University.
We occupied road and walked.
I joined, of course.

I forget what their organization was.
They looks having fun, so I took their pictures.
Musical band horse-drawn buggy.
Rally was closed with speech of someone from authority.
Bangladesh is said "country with no tourism", but so many people in tourism industry joined rally!

At TSC, photo exhibition was held by our Bangladesh Tourism Corporatin.
3 of my photos were there! 

Can you see my name on left down of the picture?
My question is......
Am I a "Japanese Tourist"?
Really am I??
I don't know what' the intention of my office.......

Sminar which minister attended was held in the evening.
We including travel agents shared relation between water and tourism, problems we have now, prospects for future......e.t.c.

I didn't pay much attention for the day in Japan, but my September 27th in Bangladesh was filled with tourism.
Rally was carried out every year.
If you are in Dhaka at the time, walk with me next year :)


Rajshahi -way back home-

It has been a long time since I wrote about Rajshahi trip last time.
However, to end the trip I write the last article for this trip.
I left Rajshahi by train whose name is Silkcity Express.
It leaves 7:20 from Rajshahi railway station.
The train won't be late because it starts from Rajshahi. 
This is compartment for 4 passengers.
(Can you see a girl's head over a man in white cloth?)
This most expensive seat costed 725tk. 

This compartment is used as sleeper at night, but passangers sit downside during the day.
What's special for this compartment?
You can go up to upper bed, lay down and sleep.
The first one can take the place.
That was me, in this case.
This is seat in AC car.
It seems quite comfortable.

Of course, food is availabe on the train.
For breakfast,

Bread               15tk
Fried Chiken    40tk
Chiken cutlet    30tk
one plate           80tk

For lunch and dinner, the same as above!
If you don't want to eat oily stuff in the morning, better to bring food with you.
I had bread with me, so only had a cup of tea.
Snacks are also available.
It is interesting people come and go with many kinds of things.
Journey from Rajshahi to Dhaka was short since I could sleep.
Huge amount of energy is necessary to travel in Bangladesh.
I recommend train journey not only to enjoy, but also to save some energy.

I finish writing trip to Bogra and Rajshahi here.
Thank you for traveling together!



Puthia is Hindu village located 1 hour by bus from Rajshahi.

To take right bus, you have to keep shouting "Puthia Puthia!!"
People let you get the bus.
Then, please keep saying "Puthia Puthia!"
People let you get off the bus at right place.

Taking Bangali(bicycle with board where you can get on) 10 minutes,
Siva Temple suddenly appeared.
It was impressive.

Then, this is Rajbari(Old lord's house).
Playground is spread in front where boys played Cricket.
 Opposite of the field, Dolmancha.
Guide book told tourist could go inside, but we couldn't.

Behind Rajibali, Pancharanta Govinda Temple
Terra cotta of Hindu temples in Puthia was beautiful. 
This is Govinda Temple, looks pretty.
There was remain of some building on water.It must be perfect place for kids to play!
(I just didn't want to go with my camera.....)
A big pond is in the center of village reflect the scene of village.
It was too hot to stroll around, but atmosphere is relaxing and make me feel stay there.
Only 1 hour from Rajshahi, you can't miss it.