Lalon Fakir (1774– 1890), was known as one of the greatest Bengali saints in Bengali folk culture. He was a great spiritual leader and always was in the quest of looking at the real meaning and happiness of life. Finding happiness in simple life was his main motto of life. He tried to let general people understand the value and true meaning of a happy life and happy soul. He is also known as Lalon Shah, Lalon Fakir. He became a legend and spiritual saint by his mystic lyrics in his songs, reflecting his social reforms, religious tolerance, and inspiring messages against the orthodox, superstitious & greedy society. His philosophy and writing was greatly influenced by Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Allen Ginsberg, though he "rejected all distinctions of caste and creed"

Throughout his life, Lalon sang of a society where all religions and beliefs are in harmony. His disciples mostly live in Bangladesh and West Bengal. He founded the institute known as Lalon Akhrah in Cheuriya, about 2 kilometers from Kushtia railway station. Lalon is also regarded as the founder of the Baul music and known as the Baul Shamrat.

He appropriated various philosophical positions emanating from Hindu, Jainist, Buddhist and Islamic traditions, developing them into a coherent discourse without falling into eclecticism or syncretism.

Lalon has secured a unique position in the history of traditional music for his humanitarian songs, blending philosophies of different devotional traditions.

Lalon Mela, a festival for Lalon in Perris, California, USA

In 2018, a few Bangladeshi organizers including me who are great followers and lovers of Lalon folk music decided to launch an event to celebrate the birthday of Lalon at the city hall of Perris, CA.

 

I was requested by the main organizer Saifur Rahman Jeetu and another hard-working Bangladeshi Cultural organizer, Raju. Raju initiated the idea of organizing Lalon Mela where the main guest and singer will be Farida Parveen who has dedicated her life to Lalon music. She is considered Lalon Queen in West Bengal (Kolkata) and East Bengal (Bangladesh) regions.

I took the responsibility to complete all the creative works associated with the event including:

  • Designing all Banners
  • Event photos 
  • Event flyers 
  • Sponsors Advertisement 
  • Stage Decoration

I was very interested and enthusiastic about this event because this is the first time this kind of Lalon Mela was organized in California. I believe this event successfully spread the ideology, messages, and philosophy of Lalon Fakir to our young generation. Some of them also participated in singing Lalon songs and reciting Lalon Poems both in English & Bengali.

 

Mark Takano, Representative(CA-41), was the chief guest and gave the opening speech.  He enjoyed the great music and food. There were 25 food vendors with traditional dishes from Bangladesh like Pitha (Rice Cake Dessert with milk, molasses & brown sugar). 

I was awarded and appreciated by the management for helping them with my creative ideas to make the event colorful and vibrant!

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