This Sunday (November 25) evening, Warden Woods Community Centre was the destination of young minds of Bangladeshi origin, living across GTA and beyond. It was the 1st Bangladeshi Youth Festival, the first of its kind, dedicated to youth. It was an evening full of festivity that included a wide variety of performances, games and fun activities. Traditional Indian dance, dance on hip hop bits, songs in Bangla as well as English all the way up to Bangla Rock. Most of the performers were new to the Bangladeshi-Canadian cultural scene, which added an extra bit of uniqueness to the event. The interactive game involving the audience generated a lot of interest as well. At one corner of the auditorium, a Henna desk was set up where festival attendees had the opportunity to get henna designs done for free. Traditional Bangladeshi street food were also available at a reasonable price.
The event was jointly organized by the Bangladeshi Students’ Association (BSA) of Seneca College and George Brown College along with Green & Red Wheelers, a well-known organization of the Bangladeshi-Canadian Community. The Toronto Citizen was proud to be the sponsor of the event. Real Estate broker Mak Azad sponsored a Samsung Tablet PC that was the designated prize of the interactive game. Tanjeer Alam Rajib, an internationally recognized rhythmic instrument performer and Toronto’s very own Rock singer Rinko helped by donating their time and instruments. The event started at 6:15pm with the national anthems of both Canada and Bangladesh, then the students of Shukanya Nrittangon, a renowned dance school of east end, performed Kathyak dance (a form of traditional Indian dance). Popular young singer, composer and songwriter Ashe Hoque performed one of her original numbers and a fusion. This act was followed by dances from Maria and Siam, then songs performed by Ariba, Bangla Rock group Trace followed by solo from Mehrab. Ashique Bhuiyan was the MC for the entire event.
The event was attended by the MPP of Scarborough Southwest Doly Begum, veteran journalist and the CEO of local TV channel Deshe Bideshe Nazrul Minto, business leaders, social activists, community leaders and politicians. Doly Begum handed over certificates of recognition to young men and women thanking them for their outstanding contribution as volunteers in various social initiatives. Ms. Begum shared her astonishment to see the huge turnout of young men and women at the event to celebrate youth. Addressing the audience, she said “I feel a sense of pride sitting among this audience where spirits are high, resolve is strong. You are the leaders, the innovators, the visionaries of tomorrow and I look forward to seeing you more and more involved in social and community leadership. This is how I started, and this spirit is what drives me forward every day.”
“Feel free to dream outrageous dreams and work hard to make them come true. Never let anyone tell you that your dreams are impossible to achieve, never let anyone convince you that your dreams are not worth pursuing” said Rizuan Rahman, the Owner of The Toronto Citizen and President of LEAD (Leadership for Economical Actions & Development). “The best part of working with youth is that they have the courage to aim for extraordinary heights” Rizuan added. Among other speakers were the president Seneca College BSA Oliur Rahman Limon, Administrators of online group Green & Red Wheelers Masum Chowdhury and Mohammad Hamid.
The event ended at 8pm. The organizers expressed their gratitude to everyone who attended the event and who supported the initiative.