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Boat Race- the legacy of Bangladeshi rural culture

Title:Boat Race- the legacy of Bangladeshi rural culture

Jessore, Bangladesh. September 14, 2015 [DrikNEWS] – Boat Race or nouka baich in Bangla is a very popular game in riverine areas of Bangladesh. The race demonstrates the boatmen's technique and prowess in giving their boats the maximum speed and forward direction. In national boat race the boats have to cover a distance of 650 meters. 7, 25, 50 or 100 persons can man each boat. In Bangladesh boat races are usually held during the Bengali months of Bhadra and Ashwin. The boats are named attractively, proclaiming their speed or design, for example, the Jharer Pakhi (bird of the storm), Pankhiraj (the king of birds), Sonar Tari (golden boat) etc. Before boarding their boats, boatmen purify themselves and wear uniform vests and tie up scarves of the same colour around their head. Those who row standing take their position at the back. The leader stays in the middle. The drummers and the singers provide beat and tempo to the boatmen. There isn’t any restriction about what type of boat can participate in this kind of race except that boats with engine aren’t allowed. The two sides of the river become crowded with thousands of people and the whole area becomes festive during the race. These photographs were taken at traditional boat race in the Chitra River held every year at Narail on the occasion of eminent artist S M Sultan’s birth anniversary. Narail District Administration and S M Sultan Foundation jointly organize the event. Photos: Firoz Ali Gazi/DrikNEWS

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