The Institutionalization of Folklore in Contemporary Bangladesh: Converging Culture and Politics
Abstract of talk
After the founding of Bangladesh, the new nation immediately began to take steps to create a national culture. To do this, they continued a project that was started before the Partition in 1947, but now drew on figures whose identities could be clearly tied to Bangladesh. This led to the incorporation of folklore as a major market of identity in the nation. To carry out the necessary research, the Bangla Academy was formed to bring to light those aspects of Bengali culture perceived to be distinct for Bangladesh. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and archival research, this paper located the study, production, and consumption of folklore at the forefront of nation-building.