Sri Lanka

Birisiri

Birisiri is a place with abundance of nature to live in serenity and peace. It is located beside the beautiful Shameshwari river under the Durgapur Municipality in the Netrakona district. The river Shameshwari, with the range of hills in the backdrop, makes it an ideal place for meditation. The local people are nice, polite, helpful, cordial and full of hospitality.   It is an ancient town situated on the banks of the river Shameshwari. 

Birisiri YMCA, located in Durgapur Municipality under Netrokona District and was established with the aim to help reform a war trodden society in 1972, after the liberation war was finally over. At the outset Birisiri YMCA used to run small programs like Games & Sports, National Days & World Week of Prayer, Membership Development Workshop, Pre-Christmas observance and Christmas and Easter Get-together etc. As it dreamt earlier, the YMCA is significantly contributing to the moral and spiritual development of the youth and tackling other social development issues.

What to do in Birisiri?

Garo indigenous community

Most of the community is poor and their main occupation is farming, so most of their time and effort is spent on the farm laboring. They are known for their integrity and hard-working spirit. About 80% of them are at least somewhat literate, and the number of Garos attaining higher education is increasing day by day. Many Garos and Bengali people are living in very simple houses made of bamboo, straw, and mud. Some of them have brick-wall and tin-roof houses. Community people or villages are neat and clean of this area. Mainly three religions being practicing in our area like Muslim, Hinduism and Christianity. Birisiri YMCA works with the extremely poor and marginalized people of indigenous culture and Bengali people at Durgapur Upazila in Netrakona. 

Youth Forum of Birisiri YMCA

Birisiri YMCA has a strong youth movement which holding different kind of awareness activities and volunteer program. It has one executive committee and four sub- committee for functioning. It arrange different kind of sports and activities etc.  

Working with the Drop out/disabled Children 

Birisiri YMCA is running Non Formal Primary Education for the drop out children in its working area. There are 30 students in the same class. There is one facilitator who conducts class 6 days in a week. Playing with disabled kids, understand Child psychology, learn how to run a disabled school. 

Volunteer Work with Community People

Installation Toilet, Repair River bank, Tree Plantation or Agriculture work. Learning team work, planning and implementation, role of serving community, directly involve or work with local people.

Cultural Exchange program with YMCA Youth

Get idea about Youth life struggle and challenges, Interaction with them and enjoy a food and culture exchange. Also learn local communicative language, enjoy food preparing and making experience, involve and learn local traditional song/dance. 

Homestay

Get experience about community life style, local food, villagers hospitality and living style.

China Clay Lake

The blue water lake. People call this lake as China Matir Lake, China Clay Lake Limestone Lake, Neel Pukur etc. Main attraction of the lake is the water which having blue color in winter. This is a small lake, you can say this is a pond as well. Normally the water from a pond used to be muddy, or greenish during winter. But this one is having blue color just because the china clay. This blue pond is generated after digging out china clay. According to the local people, the depth of the small pond is somewhere around 60-80 feet. China clay comprises of lot of chemical compounds. The taste of the water is kind of bitter. Maybe the lake water has plenty of copper sulphate which can make the water color blue.

Ranikhong Mission/Garo Hils

It is beautiful place which holding hundred year old Catholic Church. It situated beside the Bangladesh Indian Boarder and beautiful Shawmeshawri River. This place is better for meditation. Missionary activities are highly seen around the place where the tribal people lives. Durgapur thana accommodates two indigenous sect- Hajong and Garo. So it is obvious you'll see church/mission at Durgapur thana. 

Shawmeshawri River Bank

Someswari one of the most beautiful river from Bangladesh, located at the Netrakona District. During the Birisiri tour, any traveler must have to meet with this river. River is shallow during winter, but fierce during rainy season for its enormous flow. The river is created from the streams from the Garo Hill at the north of our country in India. Entered at Bangladesh through the Bijoypur of Netrakona. The bank of the river is a bit higher compare to others from Bangladesh. Every year this river over flow and make flood and damage crops, belonging etc. So Birisiri YMCA is trying to build river bank to safe community people from the damage.

Sonargaon City

As the capital of the 15th century Bengal ruler Isa Khan, and once an important trading and political center, Sonargaon boasts architecture of the Sultanate, Mughal, and colonial periods. The Sonargaon historic city, located near the present-day capital of Dhaka, includes several Mughal monuments—among them the Sonakanda River Fort, the Panch Pir Mazar Shrine, and Ibrahim's and Abdul Hamid's Mosque. British colonial architecture preserved in Sonargaon includes the Ananda Mohan Piddar House, and other street-front houses. Whatever it is one of the heritage city in Bangladesh and it open for tourist.

paHELA BAISHAKH FESTIVAL

This is the first day of the Bengali Calendar. It is celebrated on the 14th April as a national holiday in Bangladesh. The festival is celebrated with processions, fairs and family time. The traditional greeting for Bengali New Year is "Shubho Nabobarsho" which translates to "Happy New Year".

Wangala festival

This is great traditional harvest festival of the Garo indigenous community who lived beside the Bangladesh - India boarder of Netrakona and greater Mymensingh. It usually runs for one or two days, typically during the second week of November each year. The festival is dedicated to the sun god of fertility. The tribes celebrate this festival at every harvesting period in late autumn. Garo people are dependents of agro-economy and do not use any agricultural products before thanking God of fertility, Misi-Saaljong. People celebrate by dancing and singing during the festival. The Wangala festival is a grand Carnival to celebrate the harvest season because after years the people find relief in seeing the golden harvest. Thus prayer is offered to the God for providing crops, and sing and dance to offer worship to the great deity. The major highlight of the festival is the sound of 100 drums (nagaras) being beaten. Rugala and Sasat Sowa are celebrated on the first day and all the rituals are performed in the house of the chief of the village. Dama Gogata is celebrated on the last day. Young men, women and old people dress in their colorful garments (Dokmanda or Gando), feathered headgear and dance to music played on long, oval-shaped drums.

 
HIGHLIGHT OF PACKAGE

A large part of this will involve an environmentally friendly package tour, where those of different cultures can come together to share their opinion and stories, in a respectful and valued environment. Site seeing is also offered, to share the beautiful sites the north side of Bangladesh.

HOW OUR TOUR PROGRAM IS BECOME BENEFIT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES

During this package program we will use local transportation, a chance to buy local souvenirs, attaching/including host home for accommodation and food for the visitors. Even there we use some extra money to distribute stationary for drop out/disable students, build river bank, take care tree plantation, installation toilet for extremely poor.  So most of the money goes to the local community. 

"Community and Environment friendly Trip"

DURATION : 8 DAYS 7 NIGHTS

Try to learn from community! 

If you are interested to know more about the Alternative Tourism programs of YMCA of Birisiri, you may contact them through:

Mr. Biplob Rangsa

General Secretary of Birisiri YMCA

Contact no : + 88 017 4330 6230 (office)

Email: ymcabirisiri@gmail.com