|Bangladeshi Ambassador to Korea Abida Islam, left, joins an online celebration of the Jan. 10 homecoming of her country's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the diplomatic mission in Seoul. / Courtesy of Embassy of Bangladesh in Korea|
By Yi Whan-woo
The Embassy of Bangladesh in Korea opened this year with three events, starting with a language course for Bangladeshi children here followed by a celebration in honor of the nation's founding father and an entrepreneurship program.
All three were held online in accordance with social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Jan. 9, the embassy launched a learning course aimed at teaching Bangladeshi children Bangla and English. It was initiated after the Bangladeshi community requested help for the children so they would not be "deprived of learning their mother tongue" while in Korea.
Participants joined from the Bangladeshi capital city of Dakar and Seoul during the opening ceremony.
They included Bangladeshi Ambassador to Korea Abida Islam, former parliamentarian Rubi Rahman, and Alumna of the Teach For Bangladesh Fellowship program Sadia Afrin Binte Azad, who will teach the courses, as well as poets, novelists, journalists and students.
Ambassador Islam thanked the freedom fighters, war heroes and martyrs who sacrificed their lives to defend the freedom and language of Bangladesh.
She especially paid tribute to the founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, noting he led the independence of the country which is named after the Bangla language.
"Through this course, the students will be introduced to their language, tradition and culture and more," the ambassador said.
Rahman thanked the embassy "for realizing the importance and significance of the Bangla language while staying abroad," especially with Language Movement Day coming up.
Celebrated every Feb. 21, it is a national holiday to mark the Bengali language movement and its martyrs.
On Jan. 10, the embassy celebrated homecoming day of the nation's founding father by organizing a discussion.
The discussants included a retired colonel, a researcher on the Bangladeshi Liberation War and Ambassador Islam.
The topics discussed were a chronological history of Bangabandhu, his imprisonment in Pakistan and his return home, as well as the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh.
Ambassador Islam called the return of the founding father "triumphant." She also brought up Bangabandhu's meeting with then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the British prime minister on his way home.
Islam noted the founding father formed the principles of diplomacy and garnered international support for a nascent Bangladesh and that his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina built on these achievements.
The ambassador urged Bangladeshis at home and abroad to work diligently for the nation to become a developed country by 2041.
Also on Jan. 10, the embassy and the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) jointly launched a learning program, titled "How to become an entrepreneur."
Targeting Bangladeshi businesspeople abroad, it offers practical skills and knowledge needed to become a successful entrepreneur.
The program also offers courses for manual laborers in Korea and students.
Ambassador Islam pointed out the program is in line with the directive of the prime minister to provide necessary skills to workers in different fields.
She underlined the importance of developing skills to cope with the trend in the international labor market that avoids lesser-trained workers.
Islam expressed hope that the training program accordingly will equip workers in Korea "with necessary information, knowledge, skill and self-confidence."
"So that once they return to the motherland, they could take the right decision and become successful in their respective ventures," Islam said.