Friday, August 5 2022

aesthetic and safe

| Update:
January 13, 2022 9:15:47 PM

The New Year celebration has its specialty for different peoples and communities based on their climates and cultures. This is all the more true as the year is also different: some have their lunar calendar and others have their solar calendar. Thus, the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, replacing the Julian calendar—both based on geocentric theory, to adjust for minor differences for annual counts became acceptable to most of the world. Naturally, in a global village, this widely used New Year’s celebration has some typical features and common characters.
One of them is fireworks. Because the New Year is counted from midnight with the clock passing 12 o’clock, the celebration also begins with the night sky displaying spectacular fireworks. In the western world, there are famous places of celebration like Times Square in New York, South Bank in London. In Australia, Sydney Harbor is known for its most spectacular fireworks and its neighboring Tasman Sea also makes Auckland’s skies as spectacular as they come. Capitals and other cities in the Western world and other continents including Asia also put on their eye-catching fireworks displays.
Originally invented in China, it is still the monopoly of that country. It is the largest producer and exporter of fireworks in the world. Low-explosive pyrotechnic devices are best suited to put on a beautiful, aesthetic and colorful aerial show. No wonder, sports and games competitions including Olympic are incomplete without fireworks.
With its increasingly strong economy, Bangladesh is unlikely to lag behind in this regard. When a national or international sports tournament is held here, these fireworks follow the international standard in maintaining disciplines such as time, number of fireworks to be fired, and duration of the show. But on other occasions—some of them aren’t for firecrackers—like the celebration of Victory Day and Independence Day, there’s no stop bar. . Recently, there is a growing trend of detonating firecrackers in this capital everyday, youngsters or whoever.
Firecrackers are indeed a nuisance because the noise pollution they cause is a direct risk to patients and people with congenitally weakened hearts. Celebrating an occasion with firecrackers, especially a religious occasion like Sha-e-Barat when people are praying, is perhaps the most outrageous. While firecrackers primarily produce booming sounds of varying decibels, not fires, firecrackers produce sound, light, and smoke.
This year, while the Western world has mostly canceled these New Year’s Eve fireworks and rallies, Bangladesh’s capital has opted for a frenzied display and celebration. The difference between unregulated fireworks and regulated fireworks has been lost on revelers. In addition, the hot air balloon of what is called fanus or aerial lantern by the thousands lit up the sky of the city in a strange spectacle.
Although the open celebration was restricted, there was no shortage of rooftop revelry. No one heeded the authority’s request not to detonate firecrackers and limit fireworks. It is the archaic distribution of the country’s wealth that is to blame for this kind of senseless waste of money. It has been established that a firework of modest capacity costs 2,200 Tk. In a country where millions of people have become literally destitute as a result of the pandemic, such protests are an affront to conscience. Still, there were several rooftops from which dozens or dozens of firecrackers were sent skyward. With deafening noises, they rose to send colored flames and sparks all around. All this lasted no less than an hour.
Now, there is no estimate of the total expenditure the capital has made on firecrackers and fireworks. But it is likely to be a staggering amount. What is intriguing is that a few days after the New Year celebration, firecrackers are still assailing people’s ears at night. Well, people need entertainment but not in violation of rules and discipline. Apparently, a child with a congenital weak heart showing a fissure died on New Year’s Day. Doctors suspect the impact of the booming sound proved too much for the child. The celebration made fun of old people, babies, patients and people with weaker hearts.
Likewise, the destination of the aerial lanterns was not known to anyone. They could land anywhere and pose a fire hazard. In fact, the lanterns caused fires at 10 locations warranting the fire department’s emergency department to extinguish those in at least two incidents.
The thing that should not escape notice is the less spectacular display on the sky of Dhaka compared to the capitals of West or East Asia. The fireworks here are not aesthetically as developed as those used in a disciplined manner by the authorities. The New Year celebration has come to stay. It would therefore be wise to have a regulated display in a square designated by the city authorities instead of allowing it to be free for all. Some countries have also introduced silent fireworks which make a spectacular show but no sound. It can be an option for Dhaka and other cities or towns here.


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