Bangladeshi Youth Welcome the Cricket World

The people of Bangladesh – 160 million of them – might have a wide range of different tastes and interests, but they all share a common passion: the sport of cricket! Bangladeshis follow and love cricket with almost a religious fervor. Over the past decade, as their men’s cricket team has thrived in the international scene, the cricket craze has swept over the nation. Whenever Bangladesh plays, every television set in every household, office, restaurant, and street shop is tuned into the live telecast of the game. And when Bangladesh hosts other countries to play in their ground, the atmosphere in the stadium – and the surrounding area – is simply electric!
Thus, it’s no surprise that the cricket-crazy youth of Bangladesh had decided to take it into their own hands to welcome 15 cricket-playing nations to Bangladesh for the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 Cricket Tournament. This is the biggest international tournament for the Twenty20 format of cricket, and Bangladesh is the second country in Asia to host the prestigious competition. In order to welcome the guests to their country and to show support for the “Tigers” of the Bangladesh cricket team, students from different universities in Bangladesh have been performing flash mobs across the country. These flash mobs have been performed in the busiest streets of the cities of Bangladesh and also in the respective campuses of the universities. Set to the tune of the official theme song of the tournament, the flash mobs incorporate common motions in cricket to their dances, displaying a great affection for the nuances of the sport.
These flash mobs have been shared across the social media and have also been featured on television news broadcasts. The responses have been phenomenal and the people have loved the efforts of the young generation of Bangladesh to show support for their home team.
Personally, even though I have been away from Bangladesh for only 2 years, when I saw the flash mobs, I felt as if I had missed out an entire era of advancement. Women break-dancing on the streets wearing western clothes? Why was that so surprising to me? The performers and the audience seemed to be enjoying it a lot. Their only surprise was the sudden blasts of music with dozens of hyped-up students running in to join the flash mob. The flash mobs did an amazing job of capturing the true-vibe of the T20 theme song – Char Chokka Hoi Hoi. They were all festive, full of life, almost as if you could see bright colors swirling around the dancers and feel the excitement in every beat. After the flash mob videos went viral on facebook, Bangladeshis studying abroad also decided to get on the wagon and made their own flash mobs with the Bangladeshi community around them. Hence, Times Square in New York and Toronto experienced a very LIVE demonstration of the T20 world cup spirit!
Kudos to all those who represented their school, and more importantly their country, by doing what we Bangladeshis love doing – Dancing! It felt wonderful to be so far away from home during this festive time and yet feel the rush of adrenaline when seeing my friends and peers back home dance to Char Chokka Hoi Hoi!
-Suaida Firoze

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