UK’s Prince Harry and tartan-clad Meghan wow Edinburgh

Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancée, US actress Meghan Markle arrive at Social Bite, a social enterprise cafe in Edinburgh during their visit to Scotland. (AFP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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UK’s Prince Harry and tartan-clad Meghan wow Edinburgh

EDINBURGH: Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle, who was dressed in a Scottish tartan coat, were welcomed enthusiastically in Edinburgh on Tuesday on an official joint visit to Scotland ahead of their marriage in May.
Crowds who had waited hours in the cold outside Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline from a rock in the city center, were thrilled with the smiling couple.
“They are just amazing, so down to earth and people’s people who bring everyone together,” said Amanda Scott, from Edinburgh.
Markle wore a blackwatch tartan coat, one of the checked fabrics associated with Scottish traditional dress.
Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, were officially welcomed to the city by the Royal Marines Scotland Band at the castle, where they observed the firing of the one o’clock gun, a tradition that dates back to 1861.
They were also visiting Social Bite, a charity that runs cafes and distributes food to the homeless, as well as employing staff who have been homeless. The eatery has attracted visits from other high-profile names such as actors George Clooney and Leonardo di Caprio.
The royal couple’s social work spoke highly of them, Scott’s 13-year-old daughter said.
“I think it’s great they do all this stuff for charity, that they are in power but they use their power for good,” she said.
Harry and Markle were also due to attend a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, meeting youth representatives from several charities.
“They are active in the community and they are not sitting up in a castle somewhere barking orders at people so I think this is a good generation for the royals,” said Richard Aylward, a 46-year-old Australian visiting family in Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, fifth-in-line to the throne, and Markle, star of the US TV legal drama “Suits,” announced their engagement last year and will be married on May 19 at Windsor Castle.
As part of a tour of Britain before their big day, they have also visited the English city of Nottingham and the Welsh capital Cardiff.


Dhaka relishes traditional ‘Dhakaia iftar’ in Ramadan

Chawak Bazar Iftar market vendors on a busy Wednesday afternoon. (AN photo)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Dhaka relishes traditional ‘Dhakaia iftar’ in Ramadan

  • While much has changed in Dhaka, its tasty Ramadan dishes have stayed the same in the 400-year old city established by the Mughal dynasty.
  • The exquisite variety of kebabs attracts food lovers from far and wide, reminding them of the existence of Mughals through different food menus — offering tikka, shutli, jaali, shami, irani and other kinds of kebabs.

DHAKA: “To me it’s like a festival. During Ramadan, all of us friends regularly gather at my house and have the ‘Dhakaia Iftar’ together,” said Abdullah Alamin, 48, a city dweller of old Dhaka.

While much has changed in Dhaka, these tasty dishes have stayed the same in the 400-year old city established by the Mughal dynasty.

“Chawak Bazar Iftar market of old Dhaka has a history of more than 100 years. Many things of the area have changed with the passage of time but the Chawak Bazar Iftar remains unchanged,” said renowned historian Muntasir Mamun, a professor at Dhaka University.

Chawak Bazar became the city center of Dhaka during the Mughal regime in the early-16th century. The iftar bazar is a continuity of the retail market set up since then, Muntasir said.

During Ramadan, people from all over Dhaka get something more to add to their regular iftar menu.

In Chawak Bazar, vendors in makeshift shops offer a variety of iftar items. These include “boro baper polai khai” (only the son of an influential father eats this), shahi jilapi, shahi paratha, beef, chicken, mutton, pigeon, quail roast, keema roll, keema paratha, doi bora, borhani.

The exquisite variety of kebabs attracts food lovers from far and wide, reminding them of the existence of Mughals through different food menus — offering tikka, shutli, jaali, shami, irani and other kinds of kebabs.

Boro baper polai khai is the most popular iftar item among the locals. People from old Dhaka can simply not complete their iftar without having a piece of it. This is an exclusive food of the city made of chicken, minced meat, potatoes, brain, chira, egg, spices and ghee.

“This is a traditional food of old Dhaka. I saw my grandfather enjoying eating boro baper polai khai,” said Hajji Joinal Molla, 79, who has been living in the Lalbag area of old Dhaka for many years.

“We love to treat our special guests with this dish,” Joinal said.

Most of the 200 vendors at the market are second- or third-generation businesses. 

“My 11-year-old son is very fond of shami kebab at Chawak Bazar. Today he has invited some of his friends to our house, which brought me here to this iftar market,” said Shamsuddin Ahmed, 55, a resident of Uttara, new Dhaka.

“These traditional Iftar items have become an integral part of our iftar culture,” Shamsuddin said.