Bongotsov: Bengal Meets the World

On Saturday, October 14, Chhondeshi, a non-profit cultural organization in South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina School of Music will co-host a cultural program with the global theme “Bengal Meets the World.” The program will address Chhondeshi’s mission to promote humanity, compassion, peace and unity in diversity. Bongotsov will spotlight the artistic, literary, historical and scientific contributions from the Southeast Asian region that is referred to as Bengal. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant.

This project is the first of its kind in the United States, and the Bongotsov organizing committee is hopeful that it can become an annual event in South Carolina. Bongotsov will explore the history of cultural symbiosis between Bengalees and the rest of the world through literature, music, dance and drama.

Bongotsov will be hosted at two venues (Johnson Performance Hall and the Booker T. Washington Auditorium) at the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. on October 14. This year’s program will showcase the Bengali culture and its trans-cultural reach through:
(1) Song and dance performances representing different genres of Bengali music by eminent guest performers from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina (including the students of USC School of Music),
(2) A glimpse of the spectrum of Bengali culture through new music and dance compositions, musical fusions and dance drama.
(3) A panel discussion on Bengali culture and its promulgation throughout the world.

More detailed information about the schedule can be found on the event Facebook page.

The Project Director said, “We are organizing Bongotsov 2017, a manifestation of cultural exchange through the humanities, to explore the history of cultural symbiosis between Eastern India and the rest of the world through literature, music, dance, and drama.”

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Scholars from various professions participating in the Bongotsov 2017 panel discussion:

  1. Dr. Zia Hasan (VP Planning, Assessment & Information Services, Claflin University)- Moderator
  2. Dr. Bishakha Pia Sen (Professor, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy; School of Public Health, University of Alabama, Birmingham and Director of Alabama’s renowned Indian Classical folk-fusion dance troupe ‘Notinee’)
  3. Mrs. Shannon Mc. Mohan (Nutritionist, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
  4. Dr. Soma Mukhopadhyay- Lecturer, Department of Biology, College of Science and Mathematics, Augusta University
  5. Dr. Rajarathnam S. Aluri – Board of Directors, International Friendship Ministries, Columbia, SC
  6. Dr. Shafiqur Rahman- Professor and Director of Communications Program, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC
  7. Dr. Birgitta Johnson- Assistant Professor, Enthnomusicology, USC School of Music