Language focus | 21.10.2010

National Geographic Channel to be launched in Bengali

Viewers in the West Bengal region will be able to tune into the National Geographic Channel (NGC) to watch their favourite programs in their native language of Bengali from 3 November 2010.

Afaqs.com reports that NGC’s addition of the Bengali language follows its English, Hindi and Telugu options and that the November launch has been coordinated to coincide with the Durga Puja festival. Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival celebrating the ‘mother goddess’ and in the media world, many books, films and musical offerings are released around this time. Afaqs.om also discusses NGC’s commitment to regional languages, quoting the addition of the Telugu language earlier in the year.

This is not the first time that the Bengali language has hit the headlines recently. In August 2010, Sony Entertainment Network launched the Bengali movie channel ‘Aath’ in the US. Aath is a channel devoted to Bengali movies and now that it is available in North America, it has become a valuable addition to the ‘Prabasi Bengali package offer’ stated the Vice President of International Programming.

And in September 2010, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh made an official visit to the United Nations to call for Bengali to be added to the six official UN languages of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. She referred to the vast number of Bengali speakers worldwide (300 million), discussed the language’s ‘rich history’ and talked about the resolution that the government has adopted in a bid to push the UN to accept Bengali as an official language.

Sources: www.thaindian.com; www.afaqs.com; www.bbc.co.uk


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