Toronto’s Bengali community recently celebrated the publication of 15 books this year by Bengali authors living across Canada.
The celebration took place on Sunday, July 2, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 11 on Dawes Road.
Chief Guest at the celebration was A. F. Moritz, the former Poet Laureate of Toronto. The event was chaired by Dr. Dilip Chakraborty, an eminent octogenarian Brampton scholar.
Initiated by the popular Bengali community television channel NRB and the weekly newspaper BanglaMail, the July 2 celebration was also addressed by Subrata Kumar Das, a noted Bengali writer and organizer, and Shahidul Islam Mintu, the editor of the Weekly BanglaMail and CEO of NRB Television.
In his speech, Moritz congratulated the authors of the new books and shared his experiences of reading Bengali legends such as Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Rabindranath Tagore. Moritz also recalled his previous literary involvements with the Torontonian Bengali community.
The authors whose books were celebrated included Akbar Hussain, Alina Mita, Atonu Das Gupta (from Halifax), Badal Ghosh, Debanjana Mukherjee Bhowmik, Jasim Mallik, Jakaria Muhammad Moyen Uddin, Mamunur Rashid, Nani Gopal Debnath, Roskana Pervin Shimul, Shahid Khandaker, Suchana Das, Suparna Majumdar (from Ottawa), Swapan Biswas and Tasmina Khan.
The new books were presented on the stage at the Legion hall, by Abu Sayed Nayeem, Anup Sengupta, Chayan Das, D Costa Lina Agnes, Flora Nasrin Eva, Janna Nayeem, Joachim Victor Gomes, Karabi Moitra, Manish Paul, Nasima Akter Mita, Rajib Chandra, Reshma Mazumder Shampa, Ronnie Mazumder, Ruma Modak and Sujit Kusum Paul who are well known in the community for writing or reciting or singing.
Momo Kazi read a Bengali translation of a poem by Moritz.
The celebration was sponsored by lawyer Omar Al Hasan Zahid and conducted by literary activist Samina Chowdhury.