On 26 January 2020, EU Ambassador Rensje Teerink organised a cultural performance at her residence to promote Bangladeshi spiritual folk music, known as Baul, to a diverse audience in Dhaka.
Baul songs belong to a distinctive genre of musical heritage of Bangladesh. The singers belong to a clan which defies established social and religious norms and considers music as a medium of communication with the divine. The music is a blend of Sufism and mysticism.
In recent years, Baul singers have been targeted by fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh and this unique folk music is gradually disappearing from the country's cultural mainstream. All the more reason for the EU Delegation to Bangladesh to contribute, through its cultural diplomacy efforts, towards the preservation of this musical tradition.
At the event, the singers mainly performed songs of the 19th century Sufi philosopher Lalon Sai and communicated messages of non-violence and inclusiveness to the audience.