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March 22, 2011 > Bangladesh Independence Day comes to Fremont

Bangladesh Independence Day comes to Fremont

By Julie Grabowski

Brush up on your world history and join in the Bay Area Bangladesh Association (BABA) Shadhinota Dibosh and Pitha Utsav, celebrating 40 years of Bangladesh as an independent nation.

Bangladesh is a country in South Asia that sits on the Bay of Bengal and is bordered almost entirely by India, save a small stretch with neighboring Burma. Formerly known as East Pakistan, it gained independence from Pakistan in 1971 becoming a secular, democratic republic. Bangladesh Independence Day is the biggest state festival and is marked by various celebrations and cultural functions and the illumination of public buildings. The holiday is celebrated across the United States, and comes to Fremont for the first time on Saturday, March 26.

Festivities begin with the Mela Bazaar at 5 p.m. where shoppers can search for treasures among clothes, books, and jewelry, as well as purchase pitha, a type of cake or bread common to the region made with a batter of rice or wheat flour and filled with a variety of sweet or savory ingredients. Enjoy patriotic song and dance performances at the cultural program starting at 6:30 p.m. and featuring Rathindranath Roy. There will also be a presentation on the independence of Bangladesh. Traditional food such as sheeter pitha, polao (seasoned rice), and korma (meat or vegetables braised in yogurt or cream with spices) will be served.

The non-profit, San Jose-based Bay Area Bangladesh Association has been in operation for over 25 years and is one of the oldest Bangladesh associations in the U.S. It is dedicated to keeping the cultural heritage of their country alive among the Bangladeshis in Northern California, as well as helping develop educational and economic growth in their homeland. They strive to foster understanding and goodwill between members of the association and other ethnic groups, help new arrivals to adjust, and encourage and utilize the talents of their countrymen.

The Independence Day celebration is open to all, providing a unique opportunity to get to know the people and culture of Bangladesh from the comfort of your own city.

Visit or e-mail for more information.

BABA Shadhinota Dibosh and Pitha Utsav
Saturday, March 26
5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Centerville Junior High
37720 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
Cost: $5 general admission (Free for BABA members)

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