Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Bangladeshi Student Association celebrates New Year with Southeast

Friday, April 21, 2017
Dr. Vargas puts on the panjabi with the help of his wife.
Photo by Robert Hiller

The Bangladeshi Student Association at Southeast Missouri State University celebrated its New Year in the UC Ballroom on Friday, April 14.

A lively audience of more than 130 students, faculty, alumni and more were treated to a night of music, dance and traditional cuisine.

For freshman Ishfaqur Rayan, this was a perfect opportunity to celebrate and share his culture with the Southeast community. Rayan is a second-generation citizen, but his identity is heavily influenced by Bangladeshi culture.

“The Bangladeshi culture is more of a festive culture. We love entertaining people,” Rayan said.

The festivities began with the singing of the Bangladeshi National Anthem, followed by dances to traditional music like “Cholo Shobai” and “Ore Ni Doriya.” BSA gave students from Nepal, Kenya and Japan a platform to share their culture in dance.

Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas was in attendance with his wife, Pam, and BSA honored them at the celebration with gifts. Vargas received a panjabi, traditional attire, while his wife received a traditional bracelet called a churi and a pair of earrings.

Vargas sported his vibrant regalia while he addressed the event in a brief but inspirational speech. He touched on the role cultural events and organizations have on campus life and why it is important to him.

“You know that you play a very important role in the life of a university. I hope you all do that because the students here, people here, like me benefit from learning from you. Looking at the way you do things, looking at the way you celebrate life, looking at the way you enjoy life, and so thank you so much for everything you do,” Vargas said.

Following the speech, attendees were invited to enjoy traditional Bangladeshi cuisine, which was comprised of mashed curry potatoes, basmati rice and chicken and beef curry.

After the meal came another hour of music, this time with a modern spin. A band made up of Bangladeshi students called Noise Polluters performed songs from Ed Sheeran, Queen and Linkin Park. The celebration came to a close after a DJ set.

This year’s celebration was a special one for president of BSA Mohammad Khan. One of Khan’s favorite things that happened during the celebration included people traveling from across the nation and even the world to attend. BSA and Southeast alumni returned to celebrate Bangladeshi New Year.

“It’s very special for us,” Khan said.