Hello everyone. I’m Earl Miller, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh.
It’s a real pleasure to celebrate my third Bengali New Year and learn more about this rich, colorful, annual tradition.
This year, so many important occasions converge all at once – the historic celebration of Bangladesh’s Golden Jubilee, the start of the holy month of Ramadan, and the new year itself of course, Pohela Boishakh.
In such a challenging time it’s a wonderful opportunity to recommit the shared values Ramadan reminds us are so universally important — practicing kindness and showing generosity to one-another, acting ethically and with integrity, and taking time for spiritual reflection and renewal.
In America, just as in Bangladesh, Muslims mark Ramadan by joining with their fellow citizens to serve the less fortunate. They host interfaith activities – mostly virtually these days – to build mutual understanding in their communities.
In the spirit of Ramadan and our common humanity, let us reach out to those in need. One of the best ways we can help each other right now is doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We can do this by wearing masks when we aren’t at home, staying home as much as possible, whenever we are not feeling well; practicing social distancing; and frequently washing our hands. And getting vaccinated.
These simple acts can help protect our families, our communities, our neighbors, our country, and this vulnerable world that we are responsible and it’s a privilege to protect.
On behalf of the entire U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, I wish Bangladeshis everywhere a New Year and Ramadan filled with peace and prosperity, compassion, and solidarity. In honor of this special season, let us pledge to treat others with respect and dignity, let us work together to replace suffering and conflict with friendship, trust and optimism.