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Bangladesh: Online entertainment option in unusual quarantine

17-day lockdown sees uptick in Turkish drama viewing, nature reclaim territory

SM Najmus Sakib   | 05.04.2020
Bangladesh: Online entertainment option in unusual quarantine

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is in the middle of a 17-day countrywide lockdown to halt the spread of novel coronavirus.

The government took precautionary and protective measures, including air, road and railway restrictions and deployed army troops to maintain social distance after officials confirmed the first three cases of COVID-19 on March 8.

Like other nations, the government and private sector, except emergency services workers, have stay-at-home orders and must maintain a self-quarantine.

Sajidul Islam Sojol, who teaches the Art of Living at Daffodil International University in Dhaka, gave a picture to Anadolu Agency about how locals are maintaining the quarantine.

“This time, the whole world, in an unprecedented manner, has been going through quarantine and people of Bangladesh too, have kept in homes to maintain social distance in official order. Although it’s imprisonment, it has created some feelings and observations within families,” he said.

We get time to understand ourselves, our family, friends and mostly, our surroundings, said Sojol.

“Many continue studying through online apps and online platforms like we do with our university teachers and students. While women get time to engage in handicrafts and men get to help their female partners – that’s creating deep undressing in the family welfare,” he said.

Sojol, an alumnus of Anadolu University in Turkey, said he has a library book of local and foreign writers collected during his study in Turkey. “Apart from reading those books, I also watch movies, including Hollywood, Bollywood and Turkey and Bangla.”

“Days prior I watched the Turkish movie, Sadece Sen, a great love story. And, as I know and communicate through the Turkish language, I could easily find the relation between the two separate cultures and languages, and in the time of corona I get more on it,” he said.

Bangladesh has a huge number of low-income people and as time ticks, residents are getting by with indoor games and watching Bangla movies, drama and videos on YouTube.

Facebook and Tiktok also help people stay connected, said rickshaw driver Rafiqul Alam.

Half of the residents left Dhaka shortly after the announcement of the countrywide lockdown. Bangladesh witnessed an unusual rush and heavy traffic on roads and water routes not seen even during Muslim holy festivals, according to reports.

One of the world’s most traffic prone cities have turned into a silent village as residents move to villages to complete the quarantine with family, residents told Anadolu Agency.

Because of available technology and smartphone users do not need to go to cinemas, theatres or traditional cultural events, said Aminul Islam, a senior faculty member from the Drama and Dramatics department at Jahangirnagar University, one of the largest public universities situated near Dhaka.

The film and arts researcher said with strict restrictions on gatherings, residents are availing entertainment in an easily accessible way through online mediums and can watch movies and drama through YouTube or download on other online platforms.

Graduate and housewife Nasrin Akhter is passing time watching dramas, including those from Turkey dubbed into Bangla.

Sultan Suleiman and Fatmagul were Turkish turned Bangla dramas that received huge followings in Bangladesh when they aired on television.

“These Turkey drama series have got popularity even among the university professors because of its presentation appeal with modern technology and creativity especially on such a condition,” according to Aminul.

Drama series based on historical incidents, Muslim rulers, Muslim history and culture has helped create an appeal for Bangladeshis because it is a Muslim majority nation, he added.

But the virus could bring little leisure for women who have to maintain the household and society gives little recognition to the role of a housewife for the work at home, all three observed.

Impressively, the virus not only takes people home but may bring significant changes to the environment as there are signs nature is reclaiming what has always been.

Sagorlota, or the Beach Morning Glory -- a key component of beach ecology that disappeared from parts of the world largest beach in Cox's Bazar because of the unbridled movement of tourists and construction -- has reappeared along 120 kilometers (74 miles) of uninterrupted beach, The Daily Star newspaper reported.

In another surprising incident, after nearly three decades of distance, the Cox Bazar Sea beach is witnessing dolphins playing close to shore as they happily reclaim what was theirs, thanks to the corona pandemic.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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