161-year-old Bororiar Mela ends in Magura
MAGURA, Jan 13: The 161-year-old Boriar Mela (fair), one of the prime and most ancient festivals of the district ended on Thursday with much fanfare and enthusiasm.
Like every year, this year also the two-day mela was held on Poush 28 of Bengali calendar at Bororia Village in Mohammadpur Upazila about 30 km off from the district headquarters.
The mela that attracts a large number of enthusiastic visitors every year continues to be an attraction of national culture against the large-scale practice of city based foreign culture. This year also various traditional events like horse race, lathikhela (mock fight with sticks) and Jhapan Khela (risky game with several snakes) were arranged.
"This mela is one of the prime festivals of Magura people but not confined to Magura alone. Overtime It has turned into an ideal occasion for sale and display of products coming from the adjoining districts like Narail, Faridpur and also from places as far as Chittagong," said Yunus Ali Sardar, a local college teacher of the adjoining Dhoayeel Village while talking to The Daily Observer.
"It has now also turned as a much awaited event for local people's recreation irrespective of their age. Even howling children stop their crying when they are assured of visiting this traditional fair," Yunus added.
The visitors to the fair were drawn by a variety of goods, wooden furniture, toys, cooking utensils, spades, hoes, knives, scissors, attractively designed saris and lungis made by local weavers and handlooms.
The most fascinating place and event for the children were the chain of sweetmeat stalls and the ride on the merry-go-round.
For grown-ups, the special attractions of the mela like other years were the horse race, lathikhela, Jatrapala (folk opera), puppet show, and various kinds of games like ha-do-do, wrestling and Jhapan khela.
In observance of the fair, Bororia and the adjoining villages wore a festive mood. People from different parts of the country assembled at their relatives' and friends' houses in Bororia and other adjoining villages. Women, young or old, of almost all the houses in the villages were seen busy in making sweets, indigenous cakes and other delicacies to entertain their guests.
Among the people who sell their wares at the mela is 55-year-old Abul Kalam, a trader of earthen and wooden toys furniture from Satkhira. He said, "I have been selling goods in this fair for the last 30 years. Apart from necessary business of trading, the fair makes it possible for me to meet old friends and make new ones."
Although no historic record of this fair is available, a story goes that Sanu Sarder of Bororia Village initiated it over about 161 years ago and till today this fair has been one of the prime festivals of Magura people.