ActionAid's two-day festival - organised to celebrate the resilience of communities of Bangladesh and the country's glorious heritage, culture, and traditions - ended Friday in Dhaka.

The event "Festival of Resilience: People, Planet and Possibilities" aimed to encourage celebration and participation among communities in recognition of their stories of resilience.

For decades, the people of Bangladesh have faced countless challenges, such as climate and human-induced disasters, inequalities, economic instability, refugee crisis and pandemic. But every time, the mass bounced back with the power of resilience and survived with renewed vigour.

A very recent example would be the last two years, during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the collective effort of the people of this country helped communities stay hopeful and agile.

To celebrate the innate quality and resilience of people, ActionAid Bangladesh organised the festival. Through a wide and immersive range of activities, the festival helped celebrate the people, their strength, joy, and solidarity.

Key attractions of the opening day included a performance by Happy Home girls; the inauguration of exhibition and kiosks; opening dialogue on the "Multi-dimensional perspective of resilience."

There was also a special "She-tales," segment, involving women leaders from the community who shared their tales of courage and resilience, and a cultural performance by ActionAid Bangladesh Band.

The last day of the event started with a flash mob by the young participants of the Activista Network of ActionAid Bangladesh.

There were three "Human Book Café" sessions with Imtiaz Ahmed, professor of international relations and director of Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka; Naveed Mahbub, comedian and columnist, Tania Wahab, entrepreneur, Afsan Chowdhury, journalist and researcher, Shameem Akhtar, filmmaker and media activist, and Afzal Hossain, popular actor and director, and Mahrukh Mohiuddin, managing director of The University Press Limited.

"We organised this festival of resilience for the first time to highlight the different stories of resilience from our communities, to create a bridge between people from all walks of life and especially provide an opportunity for people from the grassroots to share their stories of courage, contribution and resilience," ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir said.

Journalist and researcher Afsan Chowdhury said: "It is rare to find such events where a dynamic panel of experienced people all came together to share their views on where Bangladesh stands today and where are we heading as a nation. Such practices can enlighten us on how a nation was formed in 1971, with the combined effort of a diverse group of people."

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