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Bangladesh Heritage

President's Message 2015

On December 25, 2014 I was reelected as the president of BHESA, following my term of last year. My work for the Bangladesh Heritage and Ethnic Society of Alberta in 2014 was challenging at times, as we together as a team have done a lot to bring new life into our cultural organization. With devotion and encouragement we have inspired a wide variety of activities, and it is my wish to continue this trend for the year.

Further we have deepened ours, respectively the organizations' engagement in conservation and preservation efforts of our cultural heritage, which has become a clear vision for BHESA over the past year. Take as an example the World Heritage Convention, which describes itself as follows:

"The most significant feature of the 1972 World Heritage Convention is that it links together in a single document the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The Convention recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two." (WHC: 1972)

The Bangladesh Heritage Society of Alberta is very much interested and engaged to continue its focus on the preservation of cultural properties and heritage here in Canada, and abroad in Bangladesh.

Taking the opportunity, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for the contributions of the executives, community members and stakeholders over all these years.

The month of April is holding the first day of the Bengali calendar (occurring on the 14th or 15th), which is celebrated in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. It's a time when we recognize the importance of our heritage, and when we focus on the great diversity of Bengali culture.

In Canada, the Bangla New Year is celebrated by BHESA and other organizations through the Bosshakhi Melas. At this festival people from the community-at-large gather to rejoice the heart through Bengali culture, e.g. with dance, folk songs, fashion shows, art stalls, music, clothing, ethnic food, etc.

The celebration of our Bengali culture, and the retrieval and establishment of our living heritage during these events is a reminder of the importance of our cultural roots, and that it is our duty to pass this heritage on to our children, through education, and the use and care of our mother language.

Since 1972, the government of Bangladesh has established many projects, like e.g. museums, commemorative sites and monuments, in an effort to foster a better understanding of the Language Movement of 1952 and the History of the Liberation War in 1971.

As a Heritage Society our mandate is to foster and preserve our Bangladesh roots within our community, as we all in part represent our country and the ideals of its society, while amoung others enjoying and living by the principles of freedom, the Constitution and the Charter of Human Rights.

Life in Canada is giving us new impulses on life, values, society, community, etc. and while obtaining knowledge and concepts to topics like diversity, the protection of our environment, ecological problems like e.g. climate change, it is also our duty to share this experiences with our people in Bangladesh as an inspiration for future generations and a motivation for change.

Your continued support, cooperation and participation is greatly appreciated. As the president of BHESA I am looking forward to work closely with the community this upcoming year.

Delwar Jahid

President, Bangladesh Heritage and Ethnic Society of Alberta