Expats keep old traditions alive

Celebrating festivals outside Bangladesh will help keep its culture and traditions alive among the members of its overseas community, Counselor Mohammed Ayub, who is head of the chancery of the Bangladesh Embassy, said recently.

BD expats
STICKING TO TRADITION: Counselor Mohammed Ayub, head of chancery at the Bangladesh Embassy, addresses a packed audience at the country’s Cake Festival in Riyadh. (AN photo by Iqbal Hossain)

The members of the community who gathered in large numbers celebrated the annual ‘Pitha’ (cake) festival in Riyadh. The event was organized by Amra-K-Jon, a group of the Bangladesh community. There were more than 20 stalls displaying a variety of the country’s products that catered to the large number of visitors to the show.

Housewives and young girls brought their best home-made cakes to the show.

Speaking further, Ayub said that while living away from the homeland, the Bangladesh community members not only contribute their best to the host country but also set an example for other expatriates who are living in this part of the world.

“Celebrations of festivals have always played a significant role in the life of the people of Bangladesh. This is part and parcel of the Bangalee culture and tradition,” he said, thanking all those women who took part in the show to make it a grand success.

Speaking to Arab News after the event, Ayub said the Bangladesh mission under the stewardship of Ambassador Mohammed Shahidul Islam is committed to serving its 1.8 million expatriates in the Kingdom. “We have shifted the embassy premises to a new location in proximity to the Bangladesh House, with the purpose of accommodating the increasing number of Bangladeshis coming into the Kingdom,” Ayub said.

“The mission, which was at Al-Warood Quarter, has been shifted to Al-Waha district, Building No. 33, Al-Sheikh Hossain bin Hasan Street, to accommodate the increasing number of expatriates who come for consular work daily,” he explained.

He pointed out that an average of 2,000 Bangladeshis visit the mission daily for various services, which include renewal of passports, change of names, new machine readable passports (MRP) and other consular services.

The Bangladesh Embassy also renewed its call on Sunday urging its countrymen to take their machine readable passports (MRP) as quickly as possible.

The deadline for the issuance of MRP passports has been set for November 2015 and the expatriates have been requested to file their applications well in time to avoid the last minute rush.

“Ever since the establishment of the Bangladesh Embassy in the Kingdom, the mission has been making efforts to further strengthen bilateral ties and bring the two brotherly countries closer,” the diplomat said, adding that the embassy is especially focusing on the promotion of trade and investment cooperation between the two friendly countries.

“One of the most important responsibilities of the diplomatic mission is to look after the welfare of our community residing in Saudi Arabia. It sends consular teams to different parts of the Kingdom on a regular basis to provide various types of services.

The embassy has five wings for diplomatic work — defense, economic, commercial, labor and banking.

The mission remains open from Sunday through Thursday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Counters for receiving passport renewal/issuance fees remain open up to 12.30 p.m.

Passport holders can tender their passports in person at the mission’s counter for renewals or new issuances without the need for agents.

The Bangladesh embassy team also outsources its consular services to remote areas in the Kingdom from time to time. Notices of such visits are published on the mission’s website and the daily newspapers.

-Arab News