Hasan Raja Festival organized by Hassan Raja Parishad was held yesterday at Brian Brown Theater in Bankstown, Sydney, Australia. Solaiman Ashrafi Dewan, a descendant of Hasan Raja, a purist in Sydney and a patron of pure culture, and his wife Srabanti Kazi, a distinguished educationist in Sydney, managing director of the Australian International Academy, were its main promoters.
Tanya’s eloquent presentation started the program with Solaiman Ashrafi Dewan and Srabanti Kazi Hasan Raja and his creations being presented by main patron and Hasan Raja’s successor. Ayesha Koli of Sydney’s Charu Shilpi Group, couple Rokhsana and Anisur Rahman and another Hasan Raja descendant, Ehsan Reza, president of the Hasan Raja Foundation, sang with the participation of local artistes. Ayesha Koli and Srabanti Kazi presented a lyrical composition.
Hasan Raja’s songs and other folk songs were performed by Deepti Rajvanshi, wife of Ekushey Medalist, legendary musician of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, Indramohan Rajvanshi. ‘Pinjira’, a fictional play on Hasan Raja, was staged by Path Productions with the participation of local artistes.
In the second part of the program, the traditional musician Salim Chowdhury from Bangladesh performed famous songs of Hasan Raja and other folk songs one by one. He regaled the audience with his popular songs, reciting short stories reminiscent of Hasan Raja. Among them, he enthralled the audience by singing the song ‘Aaj Pasha Khelbo Re Shyam’, ‘Bristi Pari Tapur-Tupur Paye Je Sonar Nupur’, ‘Chandni Pasare Ke Amay Rememere’ written by him in memory of Humayun Ahmed.
Consul General of the Government of Bangladesh gave an honorary crest to the artist Salim Chowdhury in the ceremony. Sakhawat Hossain and Chancery Chief Consul Ashfaq Hossain. Consulate General. Shakhawat Hossain thanked the organizers on behalf of Bangladesh Consulate Office for such a beautiful event. Councilor Sajeda Akhter Sanjida presented the award to artist Dipti Rajvanshi on behalf of Hasan Raja Parishad.
Campbelltown City Council Deputy Mayor Councilor at the event. Ibrahim Khalil Masood, Canterbury Banks Town Councilor Sajeda Akhtar Sanjida and Councilor Sabreen Farooqui were present.
Solaiman Ashrafi Dewan and Srabanti Kazi Hasan Raja planned the festival to remind the Bangladeshi generation who left the country and grew up in Australia about their country’s roots as well as introducing them to the traditions and culture of their forefathers.
Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard, Octapad, Baya-Tabla, Gypsy, Mandira and other instrumental music provided by Tamal, Russell, Shahriar, Hasan, Niladri, Rasna, Namid Farhan etc. The program was sponsored and managed by Solaiman Ashrafi Dewan and his wife Srabanti Kazi’s company Prabhatferi, Australian International Academy and Stamford Education, Path Production and former councilor Shahe Zaman Titu.
The stage and photobooth decorations were done by Kanita and his team from Sydney’s legendary decorator Kanitas. A classical painting on the white horse theme in the ambience of an old manor house added a different dimension to the event. The lighting projection on the stage, the projection of Hasan Raja’s main house and the Haor region of Sylhet create a classical atmosphere and make the audience nostalgic. Finally Solaiman Dewan and Srabanti Kazi thanked all the guests and announced the end of the program.
Moments of Hasan Raja Utsav: