Everything about Suranjan Middey Bible Natya Sanchay book, a collection of biblical pieces


This is an article about a book. It’s also a coin on a book that’s a window. The window bears the name Natya Sanchay Bible. Suranjan Middey, the man who fashioned this window of a book, maybe only wanted to open it to a certain view, but as sometimes happens, creation takes on greater life and meaning beyond this. that is expected. It turns out that this collection of biblical pieces, which originated in Bengal and Bangladesh in the last century, can also be quite a kaleidoscope depending on the viewer.

Middey’s selection of 33 original Bible-inspired Bengali coins contains titles such as Ek Tukro Kath or a piece of wood, Barabbaser Meye or the daughter of Barabbas, Ruth, and Solomoner Prem Parbo or the novel of Solomon. They were composed by the Italian missionary and Vicar General of Krishnagar, Father Luciano Colossi; the Baptist pastor of Dhaka, Alvinprasad Bhakta; Sunil Dutta, who was organist at Duff Church in Manicktala in Calcutta; and writers from Birbhum’s Suri, Bijon Ghose and Ratiranjan Nath, respectively.

Middey tells The telegraph that having grown up in the suburbs of Bengal, he was familiar with the biblical pieces. He said: “As the New Year approaches, eight days melas where carnivals have taken place. And in our time, alongside magic shows and musicals, the Bible play was a staple. (Remember that he is talking far beyond the Nativity play or the Christmas spectacle commonly associated with Christmas celebrations among a certain section of Christians as well as non-Christians.)

Those melaThey continue to be organized and, according to Middey’s estimate, there are around 50 in the missile areas. “They are really part of sharadiya rolling millCurrency, a variation of the Bengali word loving meaning the fall festivities of Durga Puja, is interesting because it uses the festival and the associated experience and emotions as a touchstone and inhibits the associated religiosity.

In the child’s mind, when Middey looks back now, the parts of the Bible did not appear to be an overt exercise in religiosity, but merely a recounting of familiar stories or tales of familiar figures from here on out. ‘a familiar text.

However, it did not occur to him to attempt a collection of these pieces until much later.

The idea arose when he saw the production of Bharat Bandhu William Carey, a play about the 18th century Baptist missionary, at the Kala Mandir in Calcutta. “Mother Teresa herself had come to see the play,” says Middey. He spent the next 25 years researching such works in religious and missionary newspapers little known outside the Bengali Christian community.

This is how he came to find a piece of Sarenga de Bankura, otherwise known as the address of the Maoists. Krusher Chhaya’s playwright or Shadow of the Cross, Sudheendramohan Soren, was a music teacher at a college there. Middey also traveled to Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna in search of scattered individual works. “I’m not saying that all plays have literary value, but they have value,” Middey emphasizes. He remembers the time he visited Nagori, a village some distance from Dhaka. “There is a church there. In fact, the first Bengali prose, Brahman Roman Catholic Sambad was composed by Dom Antonio here. Antonio was born Bengali, kidnapped by Portuguese pirates, saved by a Portuguese priest and converted to Christianity. His work was not a play but a debate between a Brahmin and a Roman Catholic. But this is another story.

There are 500 missionary schools in Bengal. Middey says, “I don’t know what the practice is in English middle schools, but in Bengali middle schools, Bible plays are performed on Easter, Good Friday and, of course, Christmas. “He adds:” I think that at some level these performances showcase the richness of Bengali Christian. sahitya as well as Bengali Christian sangeet. Then there is the Bengali Christian padabali… “Middey isn’t one to preach or emphasize the moral of the story, but you might feel a whiff of syncretism.

Middey points out that the authors of these biblical plays are both Roman Catholics and Protestants. “And that’s unique in itself,” he says. No more syncretism.

He remembers from his childhood in Basanti in South 24-Parganas how children and adults of all faiths came to attend a performance of the Bible natak, if only to be part of Christmas mela or attracted by the allure of the Christmas cake. Obviously, the tradition is strong to this day as Middey recently heard that cultural societies and individuals linked to the church in Baruipur (South 24-Parganas), Barasat (North 24-Parganas) and Basanti have literally taken a sheet or two of his Bible. Natya Sanchay.

Middey shares an anecdote from his childhood. It seems that about 40 years ago, in Basanti on Christmas Eve, not all Protestant churches had a special service, but Roman Catholic churches did. He says, “I was turned away from a Roman Catholic church because I was a Protestant. But now, so many years later, the same church is going to mount a piece of my collection. ”


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