Momo Quazi, Toronto
On the night of 20th February, around 8.00pm the corner of Victoria park and Danforth was dark and silent. Bitterly cold and humid – such an enchanting combination.The parking lot was filled with dangerous Canadian black ice. The only thing that was shining in the dark ominous parking lot is the very new, marvellous exact replica of the “shahid minar” of Bangladesh. The black ice turned white by the reflection of this extraordinary creation.
As soon as it was around 10 at night, at the eve of 21st February, all the Bengalis with pride in their mind and Bengaliness at heart came with the famous “Amar vaier rokte rangano 21 February” song in their lips. The temperature was about -20 degrees but it didn’t stop the emotional Bangalis to come and pay tribute to the martyrs of the language day of 1952. Bengali people from all over Toronto and nearby cities came and there were almost 500 people gathered to be a part of this event. All the Bengali organizations as well as influential people were there with flowers to celebrate the Great Martyr Day and the International Mother Language. Toronto City Mayor John Tory, MP Nathaniel Arischkin-Smith, MPP Rima Barnes McConnock, MPP Doly Begum, Councilor Brad Bradford and so on came to pay their respect to the language martyrs at the temporary Shaheed minar. The Shadin Minar was built by Albion builders. The program was hosted by mother language monuments of Canada.