UOWD students celebrate Bangla New Year with a bang!
Tuesday, 13 May, 2014
The Amra Notun Bangladesh Expat Student Association, a student club at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), has celebrated its 5th anniversary and the Bangla New Year with a host of talent shows and competitions on campus.The event welcomed the Consul General of Bangladesh, HE Masudur Rahman as the Chief Guest; Dr Reza Khan, specialist consultant to Dubai Municipality as the Honourable Guest; Dr Tanveer Hoque, First Secretary and Mr Ashrif, the Vice Consul at the Bangladesh Consulate in Dubai as special guests.The day was abuzz as UOWD students mingled with the Bangladeshi community and students from Arab Unity School, The Central School, Middlesex University and Manipal University in a friendly environment of competition.“We began the club five years ago in order to increase awareness of Bangladesh’s rich and colourful culture and traditions within the student community, and to become a bridge between the student community and the community at large,” said Ms Zeenath Khan, the founding chairperson of Amra Notun and a member of faculty at UOWD.“We do believe we achieved that today, as we hosted over 400 students and community members over the whole day who visited and participated in a variety of events, making it the largest Bangla Bazaar since its inception in 2011”, commented Sadia Rakhman, President of Amra Notun and Nikita Khan, Vice President of the club.The day began with an adrenaline-pumping Kabbadi competition where four final teams tested their mettle against each other in this traditional Bangladeshi national sport. With participating teams made up of students from India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Sri Lanka and more, the competition took on an international flavour as the winning team walked away chanting ‘Kabaddi… Kabaddi… Kabaddi…’.The next big attraction for the University students was the Antakshari competition, which the club introduced to UOWD last year and has been a big hit since. Six teams competed to test their singing talents and knowledge of songs, ending with a gruelling final round between three teams. Hosted by veteran Antakshari presented, Razib Khan, the final teams went through seven rounds including visuals, audio, cinematography and more.After a short lunch break featuring authentic food representing the Bangla cuisine, the event went into its second phase, the Talent contest. With over 57 participants taking part in a host of competitions ranging from painting to singing, dancing, ethnic food stalls, poetry recitals and even fashion shows, the participants, groups and individuals alike reached frenzied heights as the judges faced a momentous challenge to decide the top performers in each category.HE Masudur Rahman said, “I think this was a great platform provided by the Amra Notun students at Wollongong University to bring together the community and the student body in sharing their talents and celebrating culture.”While the club members finalised the results, guests enjoyed some sumptuous snacks, tea and cake, ceremonially cut by the guests to celebrate the club’s 5th anniversary, followed by the prize giving ceremony.Dr Tanveer commented, “The level of professionalism and organisation showed by university students was definitely amazing. The event was organised very well and was very timely.”Mr Ashrif said, “The most outstanding performances for me today were the group dances, the song performed by Ridhima Chowdhury and the solo dance by Mohammed Al Raashi. I am sure we are all highly impressed with the level of talent displayed here today. Well done, Amra Notun. Well done, UOWD.”The event ended with the recognition of the 15 teachers who were on campus from various institutions and schools, in particular, the 11 teachers from The Central School, under the guidance of Mrs Nurun Nahar Huda, head of the Bangla Department, who worked hard for a month training their students for the event. The school has regularly supported Bangla Bazaar since its inception four years ago.The event was sponsored and supported by Air Arabia, Puskin Coffee, UAE Exchange, Noor Islam Engineering Co. LLC, Atro Group of Companies, Al Noor Exchange, Bangla Express, UOWD Dance Club, UOWD Playback club.