While we were all busy in whining about how global warming caught up with us and now we don’t have any Winter, Made in Bangladesh penciled in their Winter Meet-Up. Interestingly enough, just as the event was launched, the chill was back in town (ambiguous much?) and the most fun and engaging event in the city is just what we needed to keep us warm this Winter. If you missed the winter meet up which lasted longer than any other ones, from January 5-14 thinking ‘I just went there on Fall Meet-Up, I know how it is done’, then it is my humble responsibility to let you know how much damage has been done by this.
(you missed quite a few pouty babies, just saying)
Winter Meet Up was made special by newer attractions, not to mention the extra mile the organizers had to go to get people out in this ‘oh-it’s-so-nice under-the-blanket-weather’. ‘Promoting native brands and entrepreneurs, talented artists’ game was still as strong as a fiddle in this one. So before you term me as one of those Reality Show Finale anchors who never cut to the chase, I will let you know what went down this winter meet-up.
Yes I will play the wild card first. If we Bengali people agree on anything unanimously, it would be on Sales. This meetup almost every stall had discounts and lucrative offers on all their products, on all the days of the event. If you buy a certain amount of merchandise, you get a huge discount or you get a flat 10% discount just for buying anything anyway. So, no toiling or tricking you into buying for no reason, just grab something and get a surprise!
You know there is Ajo with their amazing menu and then there was pastry stalls. I don’t know about you but I am a major sucker for pastries. So this time there was Golpo, we know how yummy Golpo’s cookies and pastries are but sadly it does not have a physical shop. This winter-meet up they put up a stall for the first time outside their baking pit. So you can guess what you missed, seeing all the pastries, checking them out with your own eyes and not just from a photo on their page and most importantly devouring some. Have you ever tried English plum and mud in one slice of a cake? Or mini bites of cupcakes and brownies? Golpo had them all which they especially made for winter meet up.
Of course if you have attended any of the meet ups you know there is always a spotlight on artists. This time we had artists too but they were much more skilled and deserving of any compliment. Do you know why? These artists who came from BRIDGE (Bangladesh Reform Initiative for Development) Foundation were differently abled, gifted people who have problems talking properly, or cannot hear like you and me or cannot see but they have the artist’s-eye and a hand that can work magic. You can see them making your portrait right in front you or giving henna on your hand. The president of this foundation Swarna Moye Sarker was talking about Sohel Ahmed who by just looking at your photo can make a portrait out of it in no time.
Actually this should be the true wild card I was talking about earlier because not everyday you get a vintage b&w photograph taken of yourself with a box camera. I mean you have the whole setting there, two cameramen hovering over this instrument which is covered with a very dark veil to prevent the light from passing and you pose for at least five minutes straight while they prep this beauty of a camera. While sitting there flooded by the light to take one photo with the most peculiar box camera one could feel an emotion, possibly of awe which thousands of selfies or DSLR photos cannot evoke in them. I for one had the most thrilling experience taking it myself. When you see the negative getting soaked in water, you finally appreciate the art of antiques. How awesome is it!
Jewelries Only Get Better Here:
I mean come on, accessories can never be enough, you have to keep buying them as you buy clothes or makeup. This winter meetup had the most unique jewelries of all times. From day one accessory-shops were the most crowded stalls and you know why? Because stalls like Glued Together or Karkhana have one thing that stands out, their uniqueness. It’s not one of those new market shops where in every corner you find the same sets of earrings or the same pendants over and over again. Here, in Winter Meet up at one stall you have brass jewelries, at another you have metal, or silver or wooden, you name it. Another amazing fact about the vendors is that they are all just like us, students with big dreams and aspirations. They have the ideas and they know our demand, they will not import all the Star Jolsha themed accessories or curve diamonds for you, they just work with what they have, what they find, upholding as much Bengali heritage as possible.
Live Music :
Have you heard about Armeen Musa singing at this Winter Meet Up?? She came for a live concert and played with Bengali-Pop-Jazz-Soul band at MIB. many people came just to witness her sing some classic Jazz and Bangla songs. At around 8 in the evening she came up on stage and had the crowd mesmerized within moments. She definitely was one of the greatest attractions of this event.
MIB proved before too that they know how to give homage to the culture of Bangladesh while staying trendy at the same time; the moment you step into the event you would know what I meant. The little lawn was obviously kept for the live music sessions and for the box camera, it served as the perfect studio, I must say. If you look up at the roof you will see hundreds of rectangular shaped daily newspapers which serve as a canopy over your head with lights at their centers. This could allude to the pages of history we have walked so far as a nation since our liberation. Also inside we have well-lit rooms where tiny lights hang in folded jute-cups and a lot of them together form a chain so beautiful! The creativity they have shown in this meetup has been really inspiring.
I know I could go on and on about how amazing this year’s Winter Meet Up has been. I for one cannot wait for the next big event from MIB and it would be great to have all of you there too. I hope you will definitely join in the next event and not wait for me to write this article, ciao.