January 30, 2007

Amra Kojon

A group of students, young professionals and music enthusiasts came together not too long ago, to celebrate their love for Bangla, Bangla music, and Bangla traditions and heritage. Their first program in 2003 was supported by almost a year long research into the history and evolution of Bangla music, coupled with 9-10 months of rehearsals with over 150 people involved in the project. They presented 1000 years of Bangla musical history, tracing how the needs of the times were expressed through the styles and musical forms of those times.

When asked which performance troupe was responsible for such quality rendition, the participants looked around and shrugged, "eito, amra kojon" [meaning, why, just a few of us].

And Amra Kojon they are.

The concept arose initially when a few music enthusiasts were frustrated by the division and grouping amongst ourselves based on perceived differences. Groups with different ideologies, different political affiliations, different religious faiths tended to cluster among themselves and the lack of collaboration was stifling the quality of music that each group were able to bring to their audience.

Amra Kojon wanted to come together, united by our common love for music, regardless of how different we were otherwise. We wanted to find out whether it was at all possible to maintain our differences, stay true to our different beliefs and ideologies, and yet to cooperate closely with a group of people who all shared our common passion for music.

Fascinatingly – somehow, it worked. We were able to put aside our differences and work together to showcase our musical heritage to a wide audience. Since then, the group has evolved, with a continuous flux of participants – and the one gift that each outgoing member takes away is the spirit of cooperation, of caring, giving and working together with others from a wide range of different backgrounds, beliefs and goals.

Amra Kojon is really a concept. Some have even called it a way of life. My involvement has taught me not only invaluable professional skills in my roles of responsibility within the organization, but also that tolerance for our differences can be such an enriching experience. It has definitely empowered me personally and I encourage you all to check out their website, keep up to date with events, and come join in on the fun when you can. While the group may not be able to solve world hunger, cure cancer and AIDS, or bring about world peace – it can definitely inspire YOU to try.

To find out what members and our audience say about Amra Kojon, visit the AK blog. If you’d like to be closely involved and share in on the magical experience, leave them a comment!

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