2/23/2014

International Mother Language Day

Do you know what is February 21th for?
It is International Mother Language Day.
I didn't even know the day when I lived in Japan, but it is very important in Bangladesh.
 
February 21th in 1952, Students demonstrated for recognition of Bengali language, their mother tongue.
At that time, Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan and was forced to learn Urdu.
Students crushed with police and were shot dead.
Shaheed Minar is the monument for commemorating them, dead in fight for their language.
Every year in February 21th, people come to Shaheed Minar with flower.

So of course, I have to visit Shaheed Minar.
Flower contribute starts from 12:01 a.m, the first person to give flower is prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

I want to go!
However.....gate of my house closes at 11 p.m.
It means I have to stay there over night.

Do I?
......call me lazy, I decided to go in the next morning.

I started before 7 in the morning.
Flower stores were busy.
Temporary flower stores are everywhere on the street.
A store(?) has a picture of Shaheed Minar:)
 
It shouldn't take so long time from bus station to Shaheed Minar, but some roads were closed.
There was only one way to go and out.
I had to take a detour.
People wore black cloth for commemoration of victims.
There are many paintings on the road for the day.
After half hour of walking, road started crowded.
Not only individuals, but also some groups came for contributing flowers.

There are school kids, too.

On the next picture, can you see the security gate?
There are 2 entrances for group and individuals.
Once you get enter, no way to go back....so if you don't dare to jump in ocean of people, return now.
I went.......and then, here!
People, people and people.
I think I have stayed almost for an hour in people.

And here, Shaheed Minar!
You have to take off your shoes before.
(Be careful not to be stepped......some people still wore their shoes, and my bare foot were stepped by shoes...)
 
It was sooo long way to reach there, but it was a moment to contribute flower.
We made queue and put flower and security guards rushed us to go quickly.

Closer to the Shaheed Minar, there must be flower carpet.
However, we can't go there....ordinary people are only allowed to give flower in a specific place.
 
I wanted to see flower carpet, but unfortunately couldn't.

However, it was important experience.
I saw Bengali people's passion for their nation and language.
 

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