By Sumaiya Zaman
Victory Day, a national holiday, is celebrated all over Bangladesh on December 16 as the culmination of the 9-month struggle for independence and the surrender of Pakistani forces. The Bangladeshi Liberation War which waged during 1971, resulted in the genocide of 3 million people along with the exodus of 10 million people. Accordingly, it is categorized as one of the most violent wars of the 20th Century.
December 16, 1971 marks the day the Pakistani forces signed the Instrument of Surrender in Dhaka which officially ended the Liberation War. Bangladesh was a free nation and United Nations member nations recognized its formation within a few months of its independence.
From the onset of 1972, Bijoy Dibosh/Victory Day has been celebrated with reverence all over Bangladesh. Bangladeshis get dressed up in red and green outfits commemorating the national flag and attend ceremonial displays, lectures, speeches, and firework displays. A Military Parade by the Bangladeshi Armed Forces also takes place annually on December 16 which is one of the largest annual military parades in South Asia.
Popular culture plays a significant role in the celebration of Victory Day in which TV and radio stations create special programs that highlight Bangladeshi patriotism. The Bangladeshi flag is used to decorate all major streets, and in celebration, you will find Bangladeshi youth with painted faces. The celebration of Bijoy Dibosh has also been adapted for Diasporic Bangladeshi communities residing all over the world. Many of these celebrations include the incorporation of the national flag’s colors, singing “Amar Shonar Bangla,” along with a recitation of reenactments of the Liberation War chronicles.
From our family to yours, shobaike Bijoy Dibosh’er Shubhechha!