‘Spread Bangladesh Culture to the World’: Re-emphasizing Soft power in Diplomacy

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In an endeavor to showcase the rich heritage and distinctiveness of Bangladesh to the global community, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asserted her government’s commitment to promoting the nation’s culture on the international stage. During a significant event held on July 4, 2023, organized by the cultural affairs ministry at the Bangladesh National Museum, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to reinforce and enrich Bangladeshi culture in alignment with the evolving perspectives of the new generations. Her visionary approach envisions a Bangladesh that not only achieves socio-economic progress but also elevates its cultural identity to firmly establish itself as a leading force in the world.

The government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has already undertaken noteworthy measures to preserve and enhance Bangladesh’s culture. Over the past 14 and a half years, a total of 41 development projects, amounting to Tk 1,862 crore, have been successfully completed. Moreover, an additional 14 projects are being implemented, and 41 more await approval, all aimed at furthering the growth and enrichment of Bangladeshi culture. The Prime Minister’s unwavering commitment to nurturing cultural heritage echoes the sentiments expressed by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who once proclaimed the importance of establishing Bangladesh’s language, literature, culture, and heritage on the global stage to strengthen the country’s identity as an independent nation.

Soft power is the capacity to convince others without using force. Hard power, such as military force, is frequently viewed as less effective than other methods for achieving foreign policy objectives. Soft power is crucial for Bangladesh because it may assist the nation foster partnerships with other nations based on similar interests and values and provide a favorable picture of itself to the outside world. The rich and diverse culture of Bangladesh can be leveraged to draw tourists and investors. The nation’s music, dancing, art, literature, and gastronomy all exhibit this diversity. Bangladesh can demonstrate to the world that it is a contemporary, forward-thinking nation with much to offer by promoting its culture which has its roots dating back in eternity. Other nations can be cultivated through the application of soft power. A sense of mutual understanding and respect can be fostered when individuals from many cultures have common interests. Countries may find it simpler to collaborate on shared objectives as a result. Against such backdrop, the following sections will analyze the timely remarks from the PM.

However, during the event, Prime Minister Hasina recognized the profound significance of incorporating technology to advance cultural preservation and development. As the world is increasingly influenced by technology, it is imperative to integrate it with cultural practices to ensure the nation’s progress in the modern era. The government’s efforts in fostering an educated and technologically adept society since 2009 have played a pivotal role in safeguarding the essence of Bangalee culture, the spirit of the Liberation War, and the nation’s literary and research works.

Reviving the Soul of a Nation: Re-emphasizing Bangladesh’s Soft-Power Diplomacy 

Amidst the drapery of cultural grandeur, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s profound pronouncements reverberate through the annals of history, igniting a fervent call to rekindle the essence of Bangladesh’s identity. As the heartstrings of a nation resonate with the echoes of the past, the Prime Minister’s visionary direction heralds a renewed chapter in Bangladesh’s soft power diplomacy.

The riveting history of Bangladesh bears witness to the turbulent trials faced during the Liberation War, where the nefarious grip of oppression sought to extinguish the nation’s blazing identity. With unwavering spirit, the Bangladeshi people emerged victorious, upholding the sanctity of their cultural heritage as an indomitable fortress guarding the nation’s integrity. Ever since that historic struggle, the government has stood as a steadfast guardian, committed to safeguarding and nurturing the exquisite mosaic of Bangladesh’s cultural legacy.

Soft power, an ethereal force resonating through the symphonies of culture, arts, and diplomacy, emerges as the alchemist of international relations. Bangladesh, adorned with a rich cultural arras woven from the threads of diversity, stands poised to cast a mesmerizing spell on the global stage. Like a mystical enchantress, the nation beckons forth understanding and camaraderie, transcending barriers of language and geography. By disseminating the quintessence of Bangladeshi culture to the far reaches of the world, a harmonious dance of mutual respect and admiration ensues, binding the international community in an ethereal embrace.

The Prime Minister’s visionary quest extends far beyond mere grandeur; it endeavors to empower the very heartland of the nation. Deep within the enigmatic folds of Bangladesh’s villages and hamlets, hidden gems of talent sparkle, yearning to be discovered and celebrated. Empowering these grassroots artists through recognition and applause bestows upon them wings to soar beyond borders, elevating the nation’s cultural richness to dazzling heights. As the radiant glow of their brilliance illuminates the darkest corners, no region or community remains untouched by the effervescent efflorescence of the cultural renaissance.

In a symphony of harmony and vision, Prime Minister Hasina artfully integrates technology into the artistic repertoire, signaling a harmonious fusion of heritage and modernity. This resonant harmony harmonizes the pulse of a nation striving towards socio-economic progress, harnessing the power of its cultural legacy to paint an indelible portrait of influence and values on the canvas of the world. As cultural expressions embrace technological marvels, they transcend temporal boundaries, binding past, present, and future in an eternal embrace of enlightenment.

The enchanted path paved by the Prime Minister opens gates to a world brimming with new possibilities. The cultural diaspora of Bangladesh, adrift on the winds of diplomacy, fosters bridges of understanding and cooperation with distant lands. Like celestial ambassadors, cultural emissaries take flight, carrying the cherished traditions and customs of Bangladesh, evoking reverence and fascination in foreign hearts. As cultural diplomacy flourishes, the nation ascends to a throne of influence, weaving narratives of pride, identity, and diplomacy into the universal fabric of interconnectedness.

The clarion call issued by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina breathes life into the resplendent tapestry of Bangladesh’s soft power diplomacy. With ardor and vision, the nation embarks on a quest to rediscover its cultural soul and share it with the world. The symphony of progress resonates in harmony with the timeless rhythms of heritage, guided by the luminous spirit of the Liberation War. As Bangladesh takes center stage on the global arena, its cultural brilliance illuminates the world, casting a timeless spell of unity, understanding, and diplomacy for generations to come.

– Syed Raiyan Amir is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA).

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