Ramayana is the most popular performing art in Bangladesh

In the green hinterland of Islamic Bangladesh, the Ramayana is the most popular performing art form, according to Saymon Zakaria, a leading playwright.

The Indian epic exists in harmony with Sufism and a variety of indigenous folk arts like the Pir Gaan (song of the clergy), Gazi Gaan (song of the priest), Gazir Pail (theatre of the priests), Behular Nach (Dance of Behula) and Paddar Nach (Dance from the banks of river Padma).

At least eight versions of the Ramayana, mostly folklore-based performances, are enacted in the countryside of Bangladesh. It is one of the most popular epics in the
country.

Zakaria is an Islamic scholar who has written extensively about the Ramayana and the performances associated with it. He is attached to the Bangla Academy in Dhaka.

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