Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali calendar bears the testimony of our history and cultural diversity. Every year, the day is celebrated amidst beguiling events throughout the country which brings people from every walk of like irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender or age in harmony and unity. The festival has been getting a remarkable economic dimension marked with a rise in shopping and festivity with the increasing financial ability to spend on celebration, entertainment and shopping of the people. Thus with the passage of time, the way of celebrating Pahela Baishakh has turned into a capitalist phenomenon. On this day, the country’ economy sees an uptrend with an effervescent market of different products. It has a great traditional fervor towards Bengali culture attempting to expose the inherited ritualism as well as to unveil the contemporary socio-political realities. By capitalizing the notion of Pahela Baishakh, capitalists are formulating a new paradigm shift of culture. With the rapid growth of urbanisation in Bangladesh, the economic growth has also had beneficial impacts on local industries and employment opportunities. The middle class emerged with purchasing capacity to spend on entertainment and shopping for comfort and luxury. At present days the fashion, food, handicrafts and handmade toy industries all eagerly wait for Pahela Baishakh. It transcends into the regular retail stores and Baishakhi fairs throughout the country. Sarees, salwar kameez, punjabi, fatua, children’s attires and shoes are widely sold as the people of all classes go for shopping ahead of Noboborso.
Capitalism at the very beginning forms ideology for creating the imposed reality with fabricated language. Then they are creating power dynamics and insufficiencies in every state of life. While the disordered people will be trying to be in satisfactoriness with the highest possibility of economic solvencies, they will be the ambassador and representative of formulated capitalistic culture. But they are making it politically and socially a capitalistic phenomenon by which the proper inspection of Bangalee culture are going to be in fusion with Non Bangalee elitists.
It’s a matter of great regret that though we are very much concerned about the economic aspects of Pahela Baishakh, but we hardly care about our culture. Songs of other languages from other countries are played in the Baishakhi programmes. Our traditional Jatra pala, Kobigaan, Baul gaan are replaced by exotic songs.
Pahela Baishakh reminds us of our Bangali culture and affirms the identity of Bangladeshi nation. We believe that Pahela Baishakh is not only a cultural festival but also it bears our secular identity and gives us a call for becoming conscious about our own culture and identity. Hence, we must be aware of our own culture and identity and we must not be indulged in practicing a mixed culture being influenced by media and technology.
Contextualising Baishakh in urban culture