Sydney celebrates 150 years of Rabindranath Tagore Anniversary

Australian Indian and Bangladeshi community held a special function in Riverside Theatre at Parramatta and Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of the great poet and philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore.

A play Bisarjan directed by famous Kolkata artist Joyraj Bhattacharjee and produced by Syd-Kol Inc was also organized to commemorate this occasion. Local artist Indraneel Banerjee was the actor as well as organizer for this play.

A special screening of Satyajit Ray’s documentary on Tagore was held in Riverside Theatre in Parramatta, which was very informative, and showcase the life of Tagore, his work and his interactions with global intellectuals.

Rabindara Nath Tagore celebrations in SydneyParramatta Lord Mayor, Lorraine E Wearne dressed in an Indian kurta pyjama spoke during after the screening and remarked, “How can one person do so much in his lifetime.” She quoted Rabindra Nath Tagore’s saying that a Moth lives for a small moment but that moment in enough to change a life. She said “The message I took from the film is that we should just do the best we can do with the time we have and that is what is expected of each human being.”

Lorraine added, “Tagore had the distinct privilege of writing 3 National Anthems – for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Come London Olympics and we will have 3 National Anthems being played which will be written by the same person.”

MP Laurie Fergusson commented that it was great to see a whole year of events being planned around Rabindra Nath Tagore and was happy that Parramatta had chosen to showcase Satyajit Ray’s film on Tagore. “In this day and age we see every culture being broadcast around the world and in our country. It was great to see in the documentary, Rabindra Nath Tagore interacting with intellectuals like George Bernard Shaw, Yeats, Einstein in that day and age and make such an international impact,” he remarked.

“Being awarded a Nobel price in Literature in 1930s was a great achievement. His repudiation letter after the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar massacre addressed to the then Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, renouncing his Knighthood is a great work of literature”, added Laurie Fergusson.

High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Australia, Masud Uddin Chowdhury said, “Rabindranath Tagore’s 150 years have been celebrated by Government of India and Government of Bangladesh jointly in all parts of the world and it is great to see Sydney is not lagging. It is wonderful to see the works of Tagore and get an insight into the great work done by Satyajit Ray. We have seen plays, dramas and it is fitting that we conclude with songs of Tagore in this function.”

Prabir Maitra, Councillor Parramatta Council and one of the organisers termed the screening of the Tagore movie in Parramatta Riverside Theatre as a great way to pay a fitting tribute to Rabindra Nath Tagore who had done so much work for promoting Bangla and Indian culture worldwide. “The high respect accorded to Tagore in the sub continent is a measure of his abiding legacy and reinforces a common cultural space shared by the Australian India and Bangaldeshi communities.”

Popular Rabindra sangeet singer from Bangladesh, Laisa Ahmed Lisa and local artists Sirajus Salekin and Chandana Ganguli also performed at the function, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.

Satyajit Ray Rabindra Natha Tagore Documentary Screening in Sydney

Tagore Documentary Screening in SydneySatyajit Ray Rabindra Nath Tagore Documentary Screening in SydneySatyajit Ray Rabindra Nath Tagore Documentary Screening in SydneyRabindra Nath Tagore Documentary Screening in Sydney

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One Response to Sydney celebrates 150 years of Rabindranath Tagore Anniversary

  1. Prabir Maitra May 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Dear Rohit,
    Thank you for this nice article. In her speech Lord Mayor initially mentioned that Tagore is the only author of two national anthems (of India and Bangladesh) and his songs will be twice heard at the Olympic games but some one from the audience mentioned that Sri Lankan national anthem was also written by Tagore. But I think that is not correct. The author was a direct student of Tagore and may have Tagore’s influence in the song. Please see what Wikipedia says about Sri Lankan national anthems “The song was written and composed by the Ananda Samarakoon in 1940, and was later adopted as the national anthem in 1951. [1] [2] [3] It was written when Sri Lanka was still a British colony and was initially written as a tribute to Sri Lanka, expressing sentiments of freedom, unity and independence, and not for the purpose of serving as a national anthem. The song however became very popular throughout the 1940’s and when Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948 it was chosen to be the national anthem, 3 years later. The first independence day it was sung was in 1952. [4] Ananda Samarakoon was Rabindranath Tagore’s student and the tune is influenced by Tagore’s genre of music.”
    Kinds regards.
    Prabir Maitra


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