'Preserve traditional wooden boats' Urge speakers at launch of two books

'Preserve traditional wooden boats' Urge speakers at launch of two books

Prompt steps have to be taken to preserve the rich heritage of traditional boats that are fast declining in the country, thanks to the dominance of engine and metal vessels, speakers told a book launching ceremony in the capital yesterday. 

Two books -- “Boats: A Treasure of Bangladesh” and “Barge for Bangladesh” -- were launched at the ceremony jointly organised by Bangladesh National Museum and Cosmos Foundation in Poet Sufia Kamal auditorium of the museum.

French aid worker Yves Marre -- who in 1994 arrived in Bangladesh from France navigating a barge, which was later converted into Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital -- authored “Barge for Bangladesh”.

Marre also co-authored the other book with Enayetullah Khan, managing director and chief executive officer of Cosmos Group, and also editor-in-chief of Dhaka Courier and UNB.

Both the books are published by Cosmos Books and available at different outlets in the capital.

“Boats: A Treasure of Bangladesh” takes the reader through the technical mastery of the country's boat carpenters.

It presents a wealth of information on glorious tradition that was once ubiquitous but undeniably fading with passing time. The authors invite the readers to take a voyage along the countless waterways of Bangladesh and enjoy the breathtaking moments they captured.

“Barge for Bangladesh” tells the inspiring story of the amazing adventure of Yves Marre who pursued his dream. Speaking at the ceremony, Marre said traditional boats in Bangladesh started to decline in the 1980s due to the advent of engine-driven vehicles. Later, introduction of metal objects like steel in place of wood augmented this declination, he said.

Praising his effort, French Ambassador to Bangladesh Sophie Aubert said Marre through his humanitarian endeavour proved himself to be a bridge between the two countries. “His activities are worth following,” she said.

Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor underscored the need for taking initiatives to protect the rich heritage of traditional boats. Enayetullah Khan and National Museum Director General Faizul Latif Chowdhury also spoke at the ceremony.