A Village Fair (গ্রাম্য মেলা)
Introduction: A village fair is a common affair in rural Bangladesh. It is a large gathering of men, women, and children. Generally during Hindu festivals fairs are held. Fairs are also held on Eid days, on the 10th day of Muharram i.e Ahsura day on the last and first day of the Bengali new year, and on some local important events.
Location: A village fair generally sits on the bank of a river or a big canal or tank. Some fair also sits in an open field under a big ancient tree or in the marketplace or in the yard of a temple or by the side of a big road.
Gathering of the villagers: Almost all the villagers of the neighborhood rush to the village fair. There are the saints and sadhus, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, and children as well as women. Therefore, a large crowd is formed and the noise is deafening.
An exhibition in miniature: A village fair is a kind of exhibition in miniature of village products. Things of many kinds and tastes are brought here for show and sale. The rural artisans and craftsmen sell their handmade goods. Generally, children gather around the stalls that sell sweets, toys, dolls, and balloons, and women are attracted mainly by those stalls that sell artificial jewelry, earthen wares, brassware, ironware, Shares, etc. Fancy goods have the greatest demand at a fair. These are the dolls, ribbons, whistles, fans, magic wires, small-looking glasses, and such other things.
Special attractions: A village fair provides the villagers with a lot of amusements. Circus, magic shows, merry-go-rounds, cockfights, Jatragan and Jarigan, etc. are additional attractions of a fair. A magician too is found at a village fair. But the largest crowd gathers around the place where jugglers show their feats. There is the dancing of dolls and feats of skill done on ropes and bamboo.
Its importance: A village fair has great importance on the life of the villagers. This is a special day outside the days of routine life and activities. It helps the villagers to forget their sorrows and sufferings for the time being.
Drawbacks: The village fair has its drawbacks also. The gambling parties gather here and entice innocent people to take part in gambling. Village masters cheat, pick-pockets and criminals come to the fair and commit various kinds of mischief. Sometimes children are lost and this causes great anxiety for the parents. Moreover, a village fair is wanting in proper sanitation which often causes outbreaks of epidemics.
Conclusion: A village fair is a much-awaited occasion for the villages. At a fair people meet their kith and kin and exchange their news and views. So the government should encourage the fair but gambling and other corrupt things must not be allowed.