Ekushey Book Fair In Virtual Reality
Ekushey Book Fair in virtual reality
The Ekushey Book Fair or Amar Ekushe Grantha Melā (Bengali: অমর একুশে গ্রন্থ মেলা, lit. ‘Book Fair of immortals of the 21st [of February]’ , popularly known as Ekushey Boi Mela (Bengali: একুশে বই মেলা ) is the national book fair of Bangladesh. It is arranged each year by Bangla Academy and takes place for the whole month of February in Dhaka. This event is dedicated to the martyrs who died on 21 February 1952 in a demonstration calling for the establishment of Bengali as one of the state languages of former East Pakistan.
Muktodhara Publishing house started a little sale in front of Bangla Academy in the 21 February 1972, the Shaheed Day, later International Mother Language Day. Chittaranjan Saha of Muktodhara took the initiative. Later, other book publishers joined unofficially. Gradually it became official and the most popular book fair of Bangladesh.
Bangla Academy took over organization of the fair in 1978. In 1984 it was named Amar Ekushey Book Fair.Notably, in 1990s, another national book fair called Dhaka International Book Fair was initiated. This book fair is organized by government in February every year.
Boi Mela started merely as a book fair, it has evolved into a national cultural festival reflecting the cultural spirit of the modern Bengali nation. In addition to book sales, Bangla Academy organizes literary and cultural events every day. Thousands of people gather to purchase books and to spend time in the company of books and their authors with a patriotic zeal. There is no entry fee. Publishers of Bangladesh take year-long preparation to publish a huge number of books during this month. Profit is not the consideration.
In 2008, 362 book stalls were set up by publishers, book sellers and such other organization including Bangla Academy and Nazrul Institute.The venue of the book festival and outside is decorated with banners, festoons and placards in conformity with the spirit of Amar Ekushey. The fair venue is free from smoking and polythene. It is the cultural reunion of Bangladesh where nearly every writing-related person comes. Attracted by discounted price (25%), readers rush there. Given the importance, generally head of government inaugurates the fair on the first day of February. TV stations live broadcast the inaugural ceremony.
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