With only one day left for the beginning of the Bangla New Year, shoppers are pouring into the malls and makeshift shops in the Dhaka city to finish off their last-minute buying.
Shoppers and shopkeepers have told New Age that owing to series of hartals this year shopping for Pahela Baishakh celebrations is very dull though the city’s fashion houses and shopping malls had taken grand preparation to attract customers ahead of the celebrations.
Everyone, children and old people alike, will welcome Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year 1420.
Shopkeepers at different shopping malls, however, have expressed disappointment over their dull business as every year it starts at least 15 days before the celebration but this year shoppers could not come for shopping because of political turmoil.
Dhaka Mahanagar Dokan Malik Samity organising secretary Shah Alam Khandaker complained about having a dull business in this year’s Pahela Baishakh celebrations compared with previous years.
‘Shoppers’ turnout was down. We think it was caused by hartals,’ he added.
Humaira Taifur, a human resource manger of a private company, told New Age that her family and she every year start their shopping for Bangla New Year at least one week ago but this year they could not manage time for shopping for hartal.
‘That’s why we will complete all the shopping for my family this Friday and Saturday. Every year we celebrate Pahela Baishakh extensively decorating our house but this year I’ll only buy outfits for my sons and gifts for my parents and in-laws,’ she added.
Fashion houses at Aziz Super Market, Banani, Dhanmondi, Mirpur and Uttara passed a hectic day on Friday.
Keeping in view the occasion, they have brought to market attires manifesting Bengali culture and the spirit of the festival.
University student Ishrat Jahan said she preferred fashion houses for buying her Pahela Baishakh outfits because they collect dresses of festive mood.
They were seen buying punjabis, saris, shoes, sandal, home décor items and ornaments.
Female shoppers were seen buying matching ornaments and other accessories with their outfits.
Shabnam Aziz, student of a private medical college, was seen buying bangles in front of Chabir Haat. She said she also bought bangles from Shakahari Bazzar of Old Dhaka as they represent the spirit of Bangali festival and Bangali genuine culture.
Makeshift shops on the footpaths and roadsides in front of Gawsia and Chadni Chawk were also doing brisk business as people of middle and lower middle-income brackets buyers rushed there.
At Aziz Super Market, women can get Salwar-kameez at Tk 1,050-3,000 and Sari at Tk 1,000-2,500 where the traditional art motif is dominating the design.
To welcome the first day of the year, men prefer punjabis, short punjabis and fatuas.
The average price of a fatua is Tk 600-1,200, while the price of a short punjabi is Tk 750-1,500 at Aziz Super Market, which is the country’s one of the top markets popular among young people.
Popular fashion house KayKraft has also come up with new designs in sari, salwar-kameez, punjabi, fatua, children’s garments, ornaments, gifts and home decors on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
KayKraft has used potchitra, tribal motif, Greek arch motif and flower motif on red, merun, orange, off-white, magenta colour fabrics for drawing attention of the customers.
Fashion house Rang is offering salwar kameez, saris, t-shirt, punjabi, kurta, mug and gift voucher as Baishakhi items.
Rang has designed ‘Pakha’ (the symbol of Bangla New Year) this year on festival apparels. Besides, it has applied images of elephant, horse on clothing items.
The price of shalwar-kameez varies from Tk 1650 to Tk 2250, saris from Tk 1390 to Tk 13,000, Fatua from Tk 500 to Tk 1050 for each.
The kids’ shalwar kameez is being sold at Tk 1200-2250, saris Tk 550-1000 and fatua Tk 450-1100.The shop also has a collection of ornaments matching with the dresses.
Salesmen said the customers are mostly buying cotton clothes priced between Tk 1500 and Tk 2000.
The traders said owing to high price of raw materials, they had increased the price of dresses by Tk 100 to 200 for each.
Smriti, Ramani, Navilla, Ananna, Bailey Saree Kutir and other sari houses on Bailey Road also have brought Baishakhi saris in their shops.
Tangail Sari Kutir has displayed kuchi print, block and hand print being sold from Tk 700 to Tk 3000.
Gausia Market, Hawkers’ Market, New Market, Mouchak Market and roadside shops are also prepared for receiving hundreds of customers. Middle, lower-middle and low income groups are looking for festival dresses in these markets.
-With New Age input