Australian HC launches book to preserve Patra ethnic community culture, language

A glimpse of the book launching event at Australian High Commission in Dhaka on 13 February, 2024.Courtesy

The Australian High Commission in Bangladesh has launched a translation of a book to help preserve the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Patra ethnic community in Bangladesh.

The launching event took place at the Australia Day reception held at the Australian High Commission in Dhaka on Tuesday, 13 February, which had the theme of ‘Languages of our Lands’ to celebrate linguistic diversity in Australia and Bangladesh, according to a press release.

The Australian government supported the translation of the book ‘Cultural Heritage of the Patra’ given its strong commitment towards the diversity and inclusion of cultures and languages – values reflected in the legacy of the language martyrs of Bangladesh and the spirit of International Mother Language Day observed globally on 21 February.

“Australia is built on the foundation of diversity, multiculturalism and tolerance. Tonight, at this Australia Day event, we pay tribute to these values we share with Bangladesh. We are hopeful that this translation will support the Patra community by increasing awareness of their culture and language,” Acting High Commissioner Nardia Simpson said at the event.

The Patra ethnic community, of whom there are fewer than 5,000 members, are inhabitants of the Sylhet division. They are believed to be the surviving legacy of medieval Sylhet’s last kingdom from the 14th century – the Gour Kingdom of King Gaur Govind.

The housing and public works minister, RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, was the chief guest at the programme.