Ekushey Book Fair
Ekushey Book Fair is a grand fair of books which is organised by the Bangla Academy every year in February, the month of language movement. A lot of new books are published on this occasion and people visit the fair to collect the books of their favorite writers. The fair turns into a great festival for the book lovers and cultural activists. They are inspired by their love of mother tongue and express their emotions through poems and songs. This kind of fair is unique in the whole world. With the combination of the newest books and the cultural activities, Ekushey Book Fair becomes a remarkable event for the people of Bangladesh. This is not simply a fair but also a medium to get in touch with our culture and glorious history.
Ekushey Book Fair starts on 1st February every year and continues, through the whole month. Makeshift stalls of book are erected in rows around the venue. Only the publishers who have already published sufficient number of books have the privilege to get a stall. The size and location of the stall is fixed with lottery. The stalls are made with bamboo structure, jute carpet and cloth. They are adorned with colourful designs, with the name of the publishing house on the top, which attracts the visitors.
`Books written by writers of old as well as new generation are brought to the fair for exhibition and selling. The books cater to the taste of all sorts of readers. There are books for the old, youth, teenagers and even for the children. There are books of short stories like novels, poems, dramas and comics. Other books are of research, both in Bangla and English. Bangla Academy has its own stall in the fair a makeshift one beside its permanent sales centre. Books of creative
The fair is always full of people and it becomes excessively crowded during holidays. The fair remains open from morning till night during Fridays, when family members together with their children visit the fair. The first part of Friday isopen only for Children, who are accompanied by their guardians. During this time children books make a good sale. Though there are other programmes on the day around the city, the book fair becomes the main attraction.
Books are the main attraction in the fair but not the only attraction. Many cultural activities, like poetry and music, are held on the Bangla Academy stage, where traditions of the nation are highlighted. Baul and other folk songs are presented to the amusement of the gathering. Discussions on literature and culture are also held throughout the month of February. Famous writers and intellectuals deliver lectures to enlighten the audience. In one stage programme, Ekushey Padaks are handed over to recipients amid the presence of the top intellectuals of the country.
Some food stalls are set up in the fair premises. People take different kinds of fast food like chatpati, phuchka, singara and moglai there. Tea, coffee and soft drinks are also available. Outside the main centre of book stalls, many vendors gather in the adjoining areas and sell their products including bangles, handicrafts and other fancy goods. Various kinds of toys for children are also sold there. On the road outside Bangla Academy, pirated copies of books are found to be sold in cheap price.
Ekushey Book Fair has a special place in the heart of the young generation. It is always an attractive place for them. They rush there for knowledge and adda. Going to the book fair with family and friends is like an adventure for the young people. Sometimes young pairs come here to present their beloved the books of their taste, making their emotion more intense. They move around the stalls with apparently endless talking.
In the Ekushey Book Fair, there is a particular location for little magazines. All kinds of little magazines are sold here. The little mag enthusiasts gather here and gossip among them. The young poets also frequent the place and debate among them on the latest forms of poetry. Elsewhere there is a spot called ‘Lekhok Kunja’ where the writers sit and talk to the readers. Newly arrived books are often unwrapped here amid huge claps. As soon as a new book arrives, it is announced with mike from the information booth of Bangla Academy.
Book fair is the mark of glory for a civilized and educated nation Bangladesh is a developing country but it has that glory. It organizes Ekushey Book Fair every year to commemorate the contribution of the golden sons of the soil who laid down their lives for their mother tongue, which ultimately culminated in the independence of Bangladesh. In the month of February the whole nation wakes up to the glory of Ekushey Book Fair. Bangla Academy square is animated with the movement of book lovers.