Fwd: In the Spotlight – Bangladesh

In the Spotlight – Bangladesh
By Ed "Hazukashii" Howell
29 Apr 2020

Bangladesh is located in the region of South Asia, surrounded mostly by India, except for a small section of the eastern border with Myanmar, and the Bay of Bengal to the south.  Although a fairly small country in size, it has the 8th largest population of about 160 million.  Geographically, Bangladesh is probably best known as the confluence of several major river systems that flow down from India, Nepal, and Bhutan, south of the Himalayan Mountain Range.  These rivers bring in a constant flow of water and rich soil, which form the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta, the largest river delta on earth.  The capital city is Dhaka, formerly spelled Dacca, which was changed in 1983 to better match the pronunciation in Bengali.

Like most of the major cities of the world, the Hash House Harriers are no stranger to Dhaka.  The first hash club formed is still active today as the Dhaka H3 (Men Only) – (a.k.a. "The Night Runners of Bengal") which began on 17 Oct 1977.  Moving from Jakarta to Dhaka, Steve "Laggard" Jaggard is credited as the founder, when gathered up some mates to enrich the Bangladesh cultural scene forever.  Originally enjoying the countryside on the outskirts of the city, due to the exponential increase in traffic in recent years, and running on Monday evenings, the Dhaka H3 is limited to runs in the city.

The details of who founded the next hash club to form are a bit fuzzy, but the Dhaka Mixed H3 set its first trail on 2 Jan 1983, in order to provide women an opportunity to freely join in and enjoy the wonders of the world of hashing.  Not satisfied with hash clubs only in Dhaka, Trevor White founded the Chittagong H3 on 21 Jun 1984.  Chittagong (a.k.a. Chattogram) is about 250 Kms southeast of Dhaka, along the Bay of Bengal.  The Chittagong H3 only lasted for a few hundred runs, but is revived every couple of years by the older hashers of Dhaka, for special events.  Also in the Chittagong region, another club (Kulshi Hills H3) formed for a short period, but did not last too long.

The Dhaka Full Moon H3 began its very spotty existence in October 1997, when David "Fantum" Lewis wanted to expand the hashing activity even more around Dhaka.  The Full Moon hash fizzled after about a year when he departed, but was revived by Asif "WebF@rt" Ahmad in 2002, and had a steady following until 2008 when he also departed.  This hash club has seen a few short-lived revivals, but is currently in hibernation with about 100 trails to its credit.

After the turn of the century, the original Dhaka H3, through a series of events, began slowly allowing the presence of women on the hash.  So, in a show of protest, the Dhaka Men's H3 was formed on 26 Mar 2007 by Murshed "Coco Loko" Salam, which goes by the standard of Men Only, all the time, no exceptions.  Not to be outdone, in 2013, the women, led by Nippy Knickers and Joystick started the Dhaka Pussy Hash for women-only.  Meeting once a month on Wednesday evenings, this club is more of a social wine drinking event rather than a traditional hash. 

On my recent visit to Dhaka in February, I met up with a couple old friends, Sir Rail Jerker who I have known for over 20 years, he has hashed in Dhaka since the early days.  I also met up with WebF@rt, who provided wonderful hashpatality helping with arrangements for transport, entertainment, and lodging during my stay.  He also provided essential input on the history detailed above.  During this visit, I was able to run with the Dhaka H3 on a Monday night.  Due to the heavy traffic, and the advancing age of the pack, this club often just meets for an evening run led by a hare, with no actual trail laid.  But for this special occasion, the Gispert Memorial Run, women were allowed to join and there was a full 6+ Km trail marked with paper.  A large pack of over 45 hashers enjoyed a fun filled evening dodging cars and carts, while looking for paper.  Trail was followed by a fun circle, and an On After party that lasted until after midnight.

If you even get the chance to visit Dhaka, make sure to get out and experience the rich history of the region, but for the real fun, make sure you arrive in time for the weekend hashing where you can get out to the countryside.  See all the current details at http://gotothehash.net/southasia.html#bang

For many more articles like this on the history of hashing, check out . . . http://gotothehash.net/history/inthespotlight.html

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On on!