With 21st February approaching, Bangladesh gets busy in making necessary arrangements to pay tribute to the language martyrs who died for their mother tongue in 1952 on this day. This day is a national holiday and is commemorated nationwide. Different educational institutions throughout the country adorn themselves in black and white attire, and pay tribute to the martyrs through offering flowers in Shahid Minar. After the international recognition by UNESCO in 1999, the Language Martyr’s Day is observed as the International Mother Language Day throughout the whole world. e2D World School, being an initiative itself of extending Bangla and Bangladeshi culture to the world, also believes in observing every Bangladeshi national holiday. Consequently, in order to pay homage and acknowledge this day, e2D World School came up with the idea of holding an Art competition for children all around the world with the very purpose of bringing different languages and cultures together and realizing the significance of one’s mother tongue, thereby making it a global art competition so that any child from any corner of the world can participate.
It all started when Kainat, the head artist of Bangla Academia of e2D, who also happens to be a member of the marketing team of e2D, hit upon the idea of promoting e2D through a medium, such as, an event that’ll get people to engage and recognize e2D at the same. Accordingly, as an initiative from Bangla Academia, e2D World School decided to hold a global art competition co-sponsored by Mathnasium and e2D World School itself. The theme was “Languages and Culture Around the World” where both children and adults participating can paint their own language and culture as it is not just a language day for Bengalis but for all kinds of people belonging to different cultures and speaking different languages.
This competition had three categories according to age groups of children and adults participating. The first group, or Group A was for children aged from 5 to 10 years old and the second group or Group B was for children aged from 11 to 15 years old. The third group, however, was a bit different from any of the other two categories. It was especially designed for parents and children together in case parents wanted to participate with their children and present a drawing. A category or, I might just say, a way to engage parents with their kids in doing a fun activity that gets lost in time due to busy schedules in our parenthood and adulthood. Needless to mention, e2D sure comes up with engaging tactics of learning that can be both fun and educational, and improve relationships among many. Flyers were posted on different social medias on the page of e2D World School and Bangla Academia. Procedure of entering the contest and registration fees were mentioned in detail, and posts were liked, commented on and shared. Invitations were sent. Kids of known families, friends and relatives were invited. Kainat had also invited some of her ex students. Soon, the responses started pouring in and there were 13 pictures submitted for the contest in total. Struggling to find a way to vote for a winner, Kainat and her peers left the voting upto the general audience of Facebook basing them on which gets the most likes, comments and shares. Regarding this particular process, Kainat said, “We were pretty much struggling amongst ourselves as to how to cast the vote. Then, we thought that our main concept of doing this art competition was actually to reflect on the thoughts of the children through these pictures. As an artist myself, I believe that children are free thinkers. They have this freedom to articulate their thoughts on paper, regardless of the agenda given. So, why not put those out to the public and let them decide? That way, it’d be a fair method of voting.” No sooner said than done. The pictures were posted, seen, liked and shared.
According to Kainat, the reach and the response was more than she had expected. There were 3601 reaches and 554 engagements of the post alone. The first position winner named Nobonita Dutta, from Group A received 148 reacts and 67 comments in total. There was a special mention which was from Group B, Nudar Ibnath of age 12, who received a total of 175 reacts, 48 comments and 25 shares and Riddima Das of age 6 from the parents and kids’ group, with a total of 37 reacts and 10 shares. On that account, it shows that the marketing team of e2D really did succeed in achieving its goal. As rewards for taking part in this competition, every kid will be given a certificate each and the winners will be given prize money. All in all, the purpose of boosting Bangla Academia and e2D World School to more people around the globe was met and like any other good event or should I say, like any other fairytale, the 21st February Global Art Competition came to a happy ending.
Shahid Minar by 2nd position winner, Oviyan Habib of Group A from the 21st Global Art Competition, a second trimester student in Bangla Academia of e2D World School.
- Fariha Moazzema Raisa