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Bangladesh to present 'unity in cultural diversity' during papal visit

Performance will present Bangladesh’s religions, ethnicities as well as traditional rural figures such as farmers and snake charmers

Bangladesh to present 'unity in cultural diversity' during papal visit

Catholic dancers rehearse a dance to feature during papal events in Dhaka. (Photo Supplied)

Bangladeshi Catholics are gearing up to highlight the nation’s rich cultural diversity during Pope Francis’ Nov. 30—Dec. 2 visit.

Catholic dance teacher Shipra Parish, 33, and her 60-member troupe have been practicing for the past 45 days to feature at two papal events.

At Dhaka airport, Pope Francis will be welcomed through song and dance, with Parish noting that the performers will carry both Bangladesh and Vatican flags.

And at an interfaith and ecumenical meeting at Archbishop’s House in Dhaka on Dec. 1, dancers are to perform for more than 4,000 participants.

The performance will present Bangladesh’s religions, ethnicities and culture as well as traditional rural figures such as farmers, snake charmers, boatmen and tea workers.

"I am determined to present Bangladesh’s cultural richness and diversity to our countrymen and foreigners," Parish said.

Apart from the Dhaka-based performers, Catholics from each of seven dioceses have prepared cultural items, including by indigenous Catholics wearing tribal costumes and using traditional instruments.

About 99 percent of people in Bangladesh are ethnic Bengalis and about 3 million belong to some 45 different ethnic minority groups.

In this Muslim-majority nation of 160 million, Christians make up less than half of one percent, or about 600,000 people, and about 50 percent of them are indigenous.

#popeheartofasia #PopeFrancis

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