Great concert last night

Before I get into some detail on my trip to Manikgonj, I thought I would first tell you about a great concert a few of us went to last night.  Among other performers, there was a group of young Bangladeshi men who sang Bangali songs and played traditional instruments.  What a delight! Some of the instruments looked familiar, like the flute.  And others looks somewhat familiar like a single-headed drum which was played by using the palm of the hand and fingertips simultaneously.  The last instrument was totally new to me and I just loved it’s sound. The ektara which apparently is a cousin to the Nepalese sarangi that I loved so much.  The ektara is made out of a dried gourd with one string running from top right through to the middle of the gourd base.  Two flexible bamboo wands are attached to the side of the gourd and are joined together at the top with a doul.  The doul is used as tension for the string.  There are no frets or bow for that matter, a finger plucks the string.  The flexible bamboo wands are pushed together at various strengths, to produce different sounds as the string is plucked.  Absolutely haunting but spectacular sound.  I just loved it! This clip I found on YouTube, it gives you a pretty good demo of how the instrument works.  Continue searching for songs if you like the sound!  

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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