In a first of its kind event, city based Vishwa Bangla Sammelan is organizing a World Bengali Convention from June 26 to 28 at Deshpande hall. The organization has held two events previously in 1977 and 1991 but both were of national level. "Bengalis are living in every part of the world. So there is a need to create a platform where all of us can meet and have cultural exchanges," says Bibek Kumar Mukherjee, president of Vishwa Bangla Sammelan.

The three-day event will see 70 Bengali and non-Bengali artists give presentation in art, literature, poetry, music and dance. "We will also be showing a documentary on Maharashtra and Marathi culture," says Mukherjee and adds, "We live in Maharashtra and so some of this local culture has crept into our traditions too. Those coming from other states and nations will be curious to know about these influences."

The event will have its share of political presence with union minister Nitin Gadkari, Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali and Governor of Tripura Tathagat Rao attending the event. "This is an opportunity to showcase our culture and also to preserve and promote the unique features of Bengali traditions," Mukherjee says.

The highlight of the event would be presence of Bengali international artists like singers Rishi Banerjee from London, Prakriti Dutta from Edinburgh, Laxman from Singapore and Indrani Banerjee from Dallas. Authors and writers Mani Shankar Mukhopadhyay, Manoj Mitra and Amit Ganguli will also attend. Football player Chunni Goswami and sarod player Shankar Bhattacharya would also be present.

The event will also give shape to the initiatives being taken with the help of technology, says Mukherjee. "We will try to network the community at international level using various social networking sites," he adds.

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