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More Bangladeshi Christian writers needed

Books on customs, traditions will ’help people understand Christianity better’

People browsing through books at the book fair People browsing through books at the book fair
  • Sumon Corraya, Dhaka
  • Bangladesh
  • February 2, 2011
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Catholic writers in Bangladesh are urging local Christians to contribute more to literature.

“Christians are backward when it comes to professional writing and publishing books. There are almost no mainstream Christian writers in Bangladesh,” lamented Khokon Corraya, a Catholic writer and publisher.

Christian families don’t encourage professional writing because they think it’s difficult to earn a living by writing books, he said.

“There are few Catholic publications in the country and they also don’t pay writers well. There is a lack of cooperation, encouragement and fewer literary magazines that restrict the emergence of new Christian writers,” he added on the eve of Bangladesh’s largest book fair.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with Amartya Sen, the Nobel economics laureate from India, opened the month-long fair yesterday at the Bangla Academy in Dhaka.

Ronjona Biswas, a Catholic poet, whose collection of folk tales will feature at the fair, also lamented that Christian families don’t encourage children to write.

“There are some philosophies concerning this trend. Families want men to earn fast and women should become good housewives,” she said.

“Christian writers particularly need to write about culture and traditions in society,” added Biswas, who is vice president of the Christian Writers’ Forum.

Father Peter Paul Costa, assistant pastor in Chandpukur parish in Rajshahi and an author of nine books, agreed.

“We’ve fewer readers, but if we continue writing regularly the number of readers will grow. Christians need to write about their customs, traditions and culture to let people of other denominations understand us,” he said.

 

 
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