New York City celebrates the Independence Day of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
PC: Society & Diplomatic Review
On Tuesday night, Consul General of Bangladesh in New York Dr. Mohammad Monirul Islam commemorated Bangladesh Independence Day in the presence of NYC council members, fellow consul generals, and dignitaries from Bangladesh.
The celebration commemorates the day 52 years ago the Bangladeshi people on March 26, 1971, declared their independence from Pakistan. It represents the moment East Pakistan began its struggle against West Pakistan, when a unified country of Bengali-speaking Muslims and Hindus took shape.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz opened up the evening with greetings to the audience and said tonight’s event is to “further the Bangladeshi culture.” Edward Mermelstein of the NYC Mayor's Office for International affairs also gave remarks along with His Excellency Masud Momen, the foreign secretary of People's Republic of Bangladesh and fromer United Nations Ambassador.
According to a Pew Research Center Fact Sheet, New York City accounted for the largest Bangladeshi community in the US with approximately 93,000 people, most living in Queens during 2010-2019 out of 208,000 Bangladeshi living in the US.
As a part of the celebratory activities, a reception was held at the Auditorium of the Consulate in the evening. It started with the playing of the national anthems of Bangladesh and the USA. In his welcome remarks, Dr. Mohammad Monirul Islam, Consul General paid rich tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and martyrs of 1971. He also paid respect to the women who were violated brutally and tortured during the war. US representatives also spoke on the occasion. The event marked a cake-cutting ceremony to commemorate the Day.
Senior US Government officials, Consuls General of a good number of countries, diplomats, Assemblymen, Councilmen from New York and other States, Congressional Staffers, members of the Think Tank, businessmen, journalists and a large number of the members of Bangladesh Diaspora attended the reception, among others. The festive evening ended with a sampling of the flavorful traditional Bangladeshi food.