Rijah Taher, 11, performs a dance during a Bengali New Year celebration last Saturday at the Kent Senior Activity Center.

Bengali party

With traditional song and dance, prayer and poetry, fashion and food, the Bangladeshi South Puget Sound community celebrated the Bengali New Year on Saturday.

About 250 people, young and old, attended a cultural program at the Kent Senior Activity Center.

The Bengali New Year – also called Pohela Boishakh – is celebrated worldwide, particularly in Bangladesh and several states of India by 250-plus million Bengalis.

The new year on the Bengali calendar, 1422, started on April 14. Celebratory events, such as the one in Kent, are symbolic of leaving the old year behind. Connecting the past to the present is important to the Bangladeshi.

The evening was filled with traditional music, dancing, food, clothing, jewelry merchandise and souvenirs.

Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke joins the opening Mongol Shobha Jatra, a parade the represents the beginning of a good journey, during the Pohela Boishakh Mela festival at the Kent Senior Center on Saturday. The Bangladeshi celebrated the Bengali New Year. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Nina Khan, of Nina’s Fashionista Jewelry and Boutiques, smiles as she sells her sparkling selections. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Fahima Zaman, left, and Anusha Gani perform a classical Bengali dance during the festival. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Dina Islam sells her clothing during the festival. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Children flaunt colorful dress during a fashion show. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Youth participate in a fashion show. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Ridoy Alam performs a song during the festival. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

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