Cultural homogeneity that inhabitants of South and Southeast Asia experience today stems from the flow and sacredness of its rivers. In this lush riverine country, how religions and ideals are formed around the rivers is an essential academic discussion to hold.
To facilitate that discussion, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) hosted the eighth SSEASR (South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion) international conference themed Rivers and Religion: Connecting Cultures of South and Southeast Asia at its premises from June 13 to 16, 2019. The conference was inaugurated by Minister of Education Dr Dipu Moni, MP. She was present as the chief guest. High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das was the guest of honour.
Academic sessions in the conference opened up erudite discussions on socio-economic development of Bangladesh and other countries in South and Southeast Asia with respect to various rivers and water channels. Liberal arts scholars from home and abroad working on South and Southeast Asia presented their research findings. For liberal arts students, the conference offered opportunities to learn from archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, social scientists and economists from all around the globe.
The conference came to an end with MA Mannan, MP, minister of planning as the chief guest and Kanbar Hossein-Bor, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh (acting), British High Commission Dhaka as the special guest addressing the closing ceremony on Saturday, June 15, 2019. The chief guest emphasised the need for further research capabilities of the country. ULAB Vice Chancellor Professor HM Jahirul Haque gave the vote of thanks. ULAB Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Shamsad Mortuza, Professor Imran Rahman-- special adviser to the ULAB Board of Trustees and Professor Rosalind IJ Hackett-- the vice president of CIPSH also addressed the closing ceremony.
Member of ULAB Board of Trustees Ameenah Ahmed, Professor Milan Kumar Bhattacharjee -- treasurer of ULAB, Professor Dr Shahnaj Husne Jahan, chair, eighth SSEASR Conference and director, Centre for Archaeological Studies, ULAB and President of the 8th SSEASR Conference Professor Dr Amarjiva Lochan were also present in the ceremony.
The writer is studying in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE), BRAC University. She can be reached at [email protected]