SHILLONG, Oct 8 - Indian and Bangladeshi school students sang, danced and bonded together here.
The occasion was part of a cultural exchange programme between Border Security Force and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) recently in which twenty-six school students from Bangladesh came to Meghalaya.
The visiting students were here on a four-day tour during which they interacted with their Indian counterparts in various places and institutions.
The touring students are from BGB schools from across Bangladesh. To reciprocate the visit, 26 students from BSF schools would visit Bangladesh capital Dhaka from October 24 to 28.
This is the first such cultural exchange programme between students of the two nations in the North East.
�The Ministries of External Affairs of India and Bangladesh have given their approval for these cultural exchanges between school students. This would be an annual feature from now on to encourage people to people contact,� DIG, BSF Meghalaya Frontier SK Singh said.
Team leader of BGB school delegation Lt Col Md Akhtar Iqbal said, it is important for everyone to �know and understand� about the history of the two countries.
�India had provided tremendous support for our Independence. We need to know and understand this history to take our bonding forward,� he added.
Meanwhile, students from Bangladesh got their first culture shock as several thought they would encounter primarily western culture in Meghalaya.
�We are pleasantly surprised that our cultures are so similar, we thought India�s would be more inclined towards the west,� Fatima, one of the students, said.
Most of the students were overwhelmed with the warm and friendly attitude of their Indian counterpart. �Indians are so friendly. The hospitality that we are getting here is unimaginable,� Ishmam Bin Humayun said.
The students from Bangladesh interacted with Indian students of various classes at the BSF Higher Secondary School. The Bangladeshi school students presented a dance drama, which painted the history of the country�s independence struggle. The troupe also presented the various facades of the present day Bangladeshi life and culture.
Like India, the students said Bangladesh love their cricket and their nation too is also �crazy� about the sport. �We have so many things in common that we feel so much at home here,� another student exclaimed.