LDC graduation, Bangla New Year celebrated in Washington


 Bangladesh’s historic achievement of attaining eligibility for graduating to a developing country and the Bengali New Year-1425 were celebrated at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, D.C on Thursday with much enthusiasm and fanfare.

On March 17, the UN Committee for Development Policy officially announced that Bangladesh met the eligibility criteria to achieve the developing country status by 2024 from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Opening the celebrations, Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin presented a rosy picture of the country’s economic and social development achieved under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He said Bangladesh has attained macro-economic stability, reduced poverty and achieved food and energy security, according to a message received here today.

“Bangladesh is on the march to become one of the biggest economies of the world,” the Ambassador said amidst cheers from the audience at the Bangabandhu Auditorium.

A documentary on investment opportunity in Bangladesh was screened at the function. A video message of USAID Administrator Ambassador Mark Green was also screened.

Foreign diplomats, former US Ambassadors to Bangladesh, officials from different departments of the US government, senior journalists, artists, businessmen and leading members of Bangladesh community largely attended the celebration function.

Welcoming the Bengali New Year, Ambassador Ziauddin said “Pahela Boishakh” is the integral part of the Bengali culture celebrated by all irrespective of religion, ethnicity, creed and color. Pahela Boishakh is the symbol of hope, peace and prosperity, he added.

On “Mongol Shovajatra”, one of the main features of the Bengali New Year, brought out by kids of the embassy families, the envoy said UNESCO recognised it in 2016 as intangible cultural heritage.

He hoped each day of the Bengali New Year would be blessed with peace and prosperity.

Acting Secretary of State John J Sullivan, on behalf of President Trump and the American people, sent a message wishing Bengalis a joyous New Year.

He said “Pahela Boishakh” is an opportunity for those who speak Bangla as a mother tongue, of all faiths and beliefs, to celebrate their rich history and culture with beautiful parades, fairs and dances.

Sullivan said the United States thanks the Bangladeshi American community for its “outstanding contributions to our nation, our economy, and our culture.” The message was read out at the function by Nolen P Johnson, Public Diplomacy Desk Officer for Bangladesh.

Members of the embassy families welcomed Bengali New Year-1425 by rendering chorus “Eso hay Boishakh, Eso Eso” at the jam-packed auditorium.

Artists from the Bangladesh community in Washington, D.C. presented songs and dances portraying mosaic of Bangladesh culture and heritage. Besides, artists from Indian states of West Bengal and Kerala and Thailand presented songs and dances on a tastefully decorated podium. The guests were served with traditional Bangladeshi cuisine.