Sunday, March 14, 2010

Barongbar - the BSA Show

I will continue my posts on Dubai vs. Toronto after this. Last night, I attended the Bangladesh Student Associations' (BSA) 12th annual show - this time called Barongbar - which means repetition. I have often said the University of Toronto's BSA's annual show is a highlight on the Bengali social calendar here, and is often the first sign of spring.

It's about the life of a 'colony' of middle class citizens in Dhaka - whose lives are the same day in day out - hence "Barongbar".

The singing of the national anthems. With a twinge of regret/amusement, I realized I am now more comfortable singing the Canadian one than the Bangladeshi one!

The traditional dances were pretty good and the music quite peppy.

What's a "jatra" without the presence of our esteemed Prime Minister! As an aside - our two women leaders have set the cause of women's liberation decades behind with their inept management!

The travelling "Baul" singers give us their philosophy of life and death. Again, as an aside, I have always found the 'sufi' spirit of Bangladesh has done a lot for communal harmony in the country.

The Kobita (poetic) medley - on how a guy should woo a girl. Good to see the new generation of BSA-ers continuing the good work of the old!

More Kobita medley. I really enjoyed this part - especially the 'formula'. It's a departure from previous Kobita medleys.

A duet song - pretty well sung. I was amazed by the high caliber of artists and performers in the BSA nowadays.

The group dance - a signature part of BSA shows now. Really well done again, just like every other component of the show.

Take a bow BSA - you have outdone yourself this year.

Many universities in Canada now boast of significant Bangladeshi populations and Bengali shows, proms and formal nights have become an essential part of student and young Canadian-Bengali lives here. However, the BSA at University of Toronto retains its position as the premier show, and this year I can truly say they have put together one of the best three hours of theatrical enjoyment I can remember in recent times.


Nadia said...

Looks like everyone had a grand time.

mezba said...

Yup Nadia, it was great fun - and then half the crowd went, as is tradition, to Lahore Tikka House (all 200 of them) ... to party...

and I was thinking, man, if I had a DSLR camera... :-)

Dave said...

Very colorful.

Anonymous said...

They all look so Indian :)
Good to know you had a wonderful time.So did you boogie too?:)

Muslim Girl said...

Man, Lahore Tikka House is great!

mezba said...

Dave: yep, they always are!

Lat: I think you will find eastern India and Bangladesh share a lot in culture. In fact, some people from Western India (especially Urdu speaking Muslims) often confuse Bengali cultures and rituals for Hindu culture because they have only seen Hindis (from Eastern India) practice them.

Muslim Girl: yup!