Providing a space at UMD with the Bangladeshi Student Association
The UMD campus has countless student organizations, many with decades of history representing important identities, causes and ideas. However, this does not mean that everyone is represented. That search for a voice on campus has led to the creation of a new organization, as of January 2019, the Bangladeshi Student Association (BDSA).
The organization was recently founded to help provide opportunities, voices and spaces for students either from or with heritage from the South Asian nation of Bangladesh.
BDSA Public Relations officer Azrin Awal explained further that the organization was founded by a mixture of students of different ages and statuses.
“Bangladeshi Student Association was formed by both undergraduate and grad students from Bangladesh and other Bengali-speaking regions around the world, or with Bangla Heritage,” Awal said.
Awal added that the BDSA hopes to both provide for its Bangladeshi members and educate the UMD campus about Bangladesh and its cultures.
“We want to be able to express our culture at UMD as well as educate others on our culture and the uniqueness of it.”
The organization’s Bulldog Link page also discusses the goals of BDSA, which include preserving aspects of culture while engaging in conversations.
“It allows students to engage in a conversation, to learn, to teach and preserve the Bengali culture and heritage. It also gives interested individuals both on campus and in the community an opportunity to learn more about South Asian and Bengali Culture.”
Despite the considerable number of students of Bengali heritage or nationality that attend UMD, BDSA represents one of the few places these students can go to share their heritage and teach others. Though still in its early days, the organization looks set to join the ranks of the many organizations at UMD that seek to celebrate and educate.
The organization planned to hold its first event on April 12, however, that was postponed to April 21 due to weather concerns the week of the event.
The event, titled “Pahela Baishakh 1426: Bengali New Year,” is a celebration of Bengali New Year. It included several performances and traditional Bengali food. It is the 1426th Bengali New Year and the first to be celebrated formally by BDSA on at UMD.
The event, held in the Kirby Ballroom, was free to any and all interested. More information on on the Bangladeshi Student Association can be found here.