Historically, Bangladesh is known as the crossroads of many cultures. She has evolved over the centuries and encompasses the cultural diversity of different groups. Ancient chroniclers have described it as “a land of emerald and silver”, “a paradise among countries” or as a “a garden fit for kings”. Changing courses of turbulent rivers and vanishing dynasties of rulers ruined number of magnificent cities and antiquities. However, the country still bears testimony of its cultural heritage and have countless ancient monuments.

Like Bangladesh, European Union has a diverse cultural heritage. Therefore, to promote cultural diversity and mutual understanding between cultures European National Institute for Culture (EUNIC) has been launched in the Franco-German Embassy, Dhaka on Wednesday 11 July 2018 where three prominent cultural centres in the country - Alliance Française, the British Council and Goethe Institut joined hand to preserve and promote cultural diversity through out the country along with the Ministry of Cultural Affair, Govt. of People’s Republic of Bangladesh with the aim of advocate and establish “National Heritage Day”

EUNIC Bangladesh intend to raise awareness on how cultural heritage plays a significant role in building our future, its importance to preserve and pass on to the future generation. EUNIC believes cultural heritage has a universal value for us as individual, communities and societies, it evolves with us. In addition to this, this platform will facilitate access to buildings under the control of different authorities that are usually closed to the public. Through the development of common cultural projects and stronger partnerships and based on the founding values of the European Union, the EUNIC Bangladesh Cluster visions to connect Bangladeshis with a cultural practice that creates impact all over the world.

On the occasion, Barbara Wickham, Director Bangladesh, British Council said, “Bangladesh possesses a rich heritage and culture. For almost 70 years, the British Council has been working to support a greater international appreciation of this heritage. Our recent initiative to develop a map of the creative industries in Bangladesh, in partnership with the government, will help lay a strong foundation as we work with the Alliance Francaise and Goethe Institut. Together, we aim to further promote and advocate for the value of architectural and cultural heritage to enhance cross cultural exchange, increase skills collaboration and support growth in this important sector."

The Alliance Française, British Council and Goethe-Institut, all three members of EUNIC Bangladesh have already been regularly cooperating with country’s different festivals like Chobi Mela, Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka Lit Fest, Classical Music Festival, Dhaka Folk Music Festival, South Asian Art Biennale also are vibrant places, regularly hosting a wide range of activities on its premises and partner premises.  

EUNIC will collaborate with local organisations, such as the Urban Study Group in Dhaka, to promote the value of architectural heritage and the protection of cultural heritage. EUNIC will support schools through programmes to raise awareness on cultural heritage with both students and teachers.

The ceremony took place in the presence of H.E. Rensje Teerink, Ambassador of the EU Delegation, H.E. Marie-Annick Bourdin, Ambassador of the Republic of France, H.E. Alison Blake, British High Commissioner and H.E. Thomas Heinrich Prinz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present as the chief guest.

Find out more about EUNIC here.