May 26, 2013 | 05:51 AM (BD Time)
26 May, 2013 Sunday
An Essential Book On Folklore
Folklore in Context
Essays in Honor of Shamsuzzaman Khan
Editor: Firoz Mahmud
Associate Editor: Sharani Zaman
Published by UPL
First Published : 2010
Price : Tk. 995.00
To begin with, Shamsuzzaman Khan is a reputed folklorist and a prolific organiser. The subtitle of the text explicitly delineates the fact that the book is composed honouring the accomplishments of Shamsuzzaman Khan. He may be treated as a pioneer in Bangladesh to identify the need of field work in folklore. Essentially. I have to say a few words here on him. On 15 June, 1937 he was born at Charigram, a village in Manikgonj district. His father was a translator at the government house in Kolkata. Shamsnzaman Khan was a meritorious student from the beginning of his academic career. Manikgonj, his birth place is replete with varied kinds of folklore. To Quote "I used to witness performances and events of all the genres of folklore in our locality & beyond." He is out & out a secular person. From this text we come to know that his association with Kachi kanchar Mela (1956), Professor Ajit Kumar Guha, Rukanuzzaman Khan, Dr. Abdullah Al Muti Sharfuddin and others as well with Samakal, a literary journal influenced his progressive thinking. Educated in B.A (Honours) and M.A in BangIa Language and Literature at the Dhaka University, he joined the teaching profession at Jagannath College and Agricultural University in Mymensigh in 1973.
After teaching Bangla language and literature for about a decade, he changed career by taking up an administrative position in the cultural field at Bangla Academy. He became the Director of the Folklore Dept. of the Bangla Academy. Now he is discharging his duties as Director General of BangIa Academy. Before this, he was DG, Shilpakala Academy (1996-97), DG, National Museum (1997-2001). Besides these, he was associated with many other organisations, specially the organisations on folklore where he reached the zenith of his career.
There are 13 Sections and 32 Chapters in the text. Similarly the number of contributors is 32 also. Among the contributors, Amartya Sen, Amalendu de. Henry Glassic, Lala Rukh Selim, Feroz Mahmud, Sharani Zaman and many other renowned scholars of the globe.
Most of the articles are based on folklore. The title or the text and the nature of the articles vividly delineates the picture that Khan preferably likes to portray him as a folklorist, though he is a prolific organiser.
I like to quote a few lines from the 2nd Chapter of the text: "Pen portrait of My father : A Daughter's Tribute" written by Sharani Zaman. She writes. 'This man honors humanity over anything else and never harbours grudges against anyone . ............. he has given himself fully to the study of Folklore ..... some one who sees humanity first; not creed, caste or religion. Politically aware citizen of the globe". I think this is the right portrait drawn about him.
Scholars and students interested in folklore, ethnography, museology, art. history. social history and behavioural science will find the book extremely useful.
I hope a wide circulation of the book at home and abroad.
Reviewed by : Kazi Rehana Begum
Art and Culture
Focus on Chittagong
Fashion & Beauty
Food and Drink
Law and Justice
New Nation Supplement
Editor: Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Adviser Editor: A.M. Mufazzal, Printed and Published by Mainul Hosein from the New Nation Printing Press, 1.R.K Mission Road, Dhaka-1203 Phones: New Nation PABX: 7122654, 7114514, 7122655, Fax: 880-2-7122650, 9512775 email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org for advertisement, email@example.com